Do not give up hope if you were denied for Social Security Disability benefits! When your initial application is denied, there are two steps you can take.
You can re-apply, which isn’t recommended, or appeal. We recommend that if you were denied disability, you should appeal the decision.
Remember, being denied doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t disabled. In fact, nearly 70 percent of all disability claims are denied during the initial applications.
The alternative of re-applying for benefits runs the risk of being denied a second time, leading you to the appeals route and in turn losing valuable time.
Our experts at Crest SSD can help you with the recommended appeal process. Simply call the number above for more information.
How the Appeals Process Works
There are four levels to an appeal of your Social Security Disability benefits application:
- Hearing by an administrative law judge
- Review by the Appeals Council
- Federal Court Review
The first step after receiving the denial from the Social Security Administration is to file a request for reconsideration. You will have 60 days from the date you receive your denial to file your request.
A reconsideration is a review of your claim by someone who did not take part in the first decision. They will review all the evidence submitted in the original decision and any new evidence submitted with the reconsideration. Your representative can advise you on what new information will have a bearing on your case.
It is important to know that more than 80 percent of cases are denied during the reconsideration stage. It is very likely that your case will need to go to the next step, which is a hearing by an administrative law judge.
If you disagree with the reconsideration decision, you and or your representative may ask for a hearing. The hearing will be held by an administrative law judge who had no part in the initial application decision or reconsideration. Before the hearing you may ask to provide more evidence or to clarify evidence on your claim.
During the hearing, you will be allowed to bring witnesses on your behalf. Your representative can advise you on which witnesses to bring or whether you should bring any at all.
The hearing will also include a medical expert, who will ask questions regarding medical matters and advise the judge. Also, a vocational expert will be on-hand to discuss the type of work you may still be qualified to perform.
You will also be allowed to present new evidence or changes in your condition that might have occurred between the time of your initial application and the time of your hearing.
After the hearing, the judge will make a decision based on all the information in your case. The Social Security Administration will send you a letter and a copy of the judge’s decision.
Review by the Appeals Council
If you disagree with the hearing decision, you may ask for a review by the Social Security’s Appeals Council.
The appeals council looks at all requests for review, but the council may deny a request if they believe the hearing decision was correct. However, if they decide to review your case, the council will either decide your case itself or return it to an administrative law judge for further review.
If the Appeals Council denies your request for review or makes a decision, the Social Security Administration will send you a letter explaining the outcome.
Federal Court Review
If you disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision, or if the Appeals Council decides not to review your case, you may file a lawsuit in a federal district court.
We Can Help You With the Appeals Process!
At Crest SSD, our Social Security Disability benefits experts can help you through the appeals process. Call us today at the number above to see if you qualify.
We can assist you after being denied for Social Security benefits to increase the chances of a successful appeals process.