Disability Claim Appeals

Steps Involved In A Disability Claim Appeal

Applying for Social Security disability benefits is a time-consuming process. It involves gathering medical documents which are needed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). With or without the aid of a Social Security disability advisor, assembling these documents could prove to be quite a lengthy process. The frustrations don’t just end there; you then have to wait for the initial decision which could also take a very long time sometimes up to even a year! Imagine doing all this only for your disability application to be turned down. It is a tough blow to take. It is, however somewhat comforting that the Social Security Administration regularly rebuffs 60-70% of claims at the initial application level. Nevertheless, this is not the end of the road. You can still appeal the decision if your request is denied. Here is how to go about it:

Notification By The Social Security Administration

The SSA will contact you via mail after they have reached an agreement apropos of your application for Social Security disability benefits. In the case that the SSA vetoes your claim, they will give a reason for their decision. You have only sixty days from the day you get the denial letter to appeal the decision. You must be mindful of the date you acquired the letter because the SSA assumes you got it five days after they mailed it unless you can prove otherwise.

Social Security Disability Appeals
Social Security Disability Appeals

Contact A Social Security Attorney (If you get denied)

Getting the services of a professional will help you steer clear of blunders that could put your appeal case in jeopardy. So this is probably an ideal time to get a Social Security disability advisor to help you present your case with all the pertinent information. This is highly recommended because more than 80 percent of disability appeals claims are rejected in the succeeding level of the appeal process.

Reconsideration Stage

At this stage, someone at the SSA reconsiders your case. The said person must not have been a party to the initial decision. The said person or persons then review all the information you had submitted in your application. You are also free to bring in any new evidence.

Administrative Law Judge Hearing

You are entitled to ask for a hearing if your application is rebuffed again. An Administrative Law Judge presides over the trial. You or your representative (if you have one) well present evidence old or new and may even bring in witnesses to corroborate your case much like a normal courtroom trial. Furthermore, there may be witnesses who wish to give evidence against your application, and you have every right in the world to question them in front of the judge. Considering the information presented, the judge will make a decision and communicate about the same through a letter.

Social Security Appeals Council

You are entitled to ask the Social Security Appeals Council to review the hearing decision if your appeal is rejected a third time. If the Appeals Council believes the hearing decision was correct, it is not obligated to grant you a review although it will still, consider your request. If they do grant you a review, the Appeals Council will either rule on your case themselves or pass it on to another administrative law judge.

If all this doesn’t work, you can file suit in federal district court.

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