The majority of initial applications filed for Social Security disability benefits are denied. However, people who receive a denial at the initial stage can appeal the agency’s decision. In fact, there are actually multiple levels of appeal available. The grant rate for petitions once those appeals are included rises considerably, going from 28 percent to 45 percent, so it is certainly worth considering.
There are several steps to the Social Security disability appeals process once a person receives an initial denial. The first step involves filing a Request for Reconsideration. That request has to be filed within 60 days of the denial of the initial application, and it pushes the application back to the Social Security Administration for another look. The form is short, but it does include a small section for the applicant to explain specifically what the original person reviewing the application failed to properly consider. Additionally, people who file a Request for Reconsideration may have the opportunity to update their application with any new medical information that has come to light since the filing of the original.
If the Request for Reconsideration is again denied, there is still another option, a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ is an impartial decision-maker who did not participate in any of the previous denials of a person’s application. The hearing may be in-person or done remotely, and it gives the applicant or their attorney the chance to make their case to the judge about why the previous denials were in error. This can include presenting more documents to the ALJ or even introducing witnesses to testify as to the applicant’s medical condition.
If the application is still denied, an applicant is not yet out of options. The Social Security Administration maintains an Appeals Council that acts as an extra review over and above the ALJ. However, the Appeals Council has discretion over whether it chooses to review a case, so it has the option to deny a person a further chance for review. Beyond the Appeals Council, applicants may also be able to appeal the denial of their benefits up into the federal court system, though whether that decision would be practical depends on the exact reason that a person’s application has been repeatedly denied.
At Hampton Injury Law, our practice includes representing clients to obtain the Social Security Disability Insurance benefits that they deserve. Our team understands that receiving these benefits has a substantial impact on your financial stability and that not receiving these benefits can lead to unneeded emotional anxiety over your future. Unfortunately, because of the strict deadlines and detailed documentation requirements that are needed for the filing process, it is very common for initial SSDI claims to be denied by the Social Security Administration.
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While appealing a government administration’s decision can seem like a daunting process, you don’t have to go through it alone. Hampton Injury Law will use our experience and knowledge to help you navigate the complex appeals process. Our attorneys have successfully handled many SSDI claims, allowing us to build a valuable knowledge of what the Social Security Administration is looking for when it assesses an SSDI appeal. We will use this in-depth knowledge of SSDI law to benefit your case and to help win you the benefits that you are entitled to receive. To learn more about how we may be able to assist you, please contact our office today.
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