If you have a disabling condition and have received a denial notice from the Social Security Administration (SSA) after filing for disability benefits, there are a number of steps you can take to appeal the denial and have your case reconsidered.
However, the Social Security Disability appeals process is very complex and it is in your best interest to hire an experienced disability lawyer to guide you through each step.
The following are four different levels of appeal following a denial:
Reconsideration Request – After you have been denied disability benefits the first time or during a continuing disability review (CDR), you can contact your local Social Security office to have your application reviewed again.
During reconsideration, your claim will be reviewed by a different medical expert and examiner who were not affiliated with the first decision. Claims are approved in five to 10 percent of reconsiderations.
Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) – An ALJ hearing is your next option if your claim was denied during the reconsideration process. You must ask for a hearing within 60 days of receiving your denial. ALJs approve 67 percent of claims that they review.
Appeals Council – If your denial is upheld at the ALJ hearing, you can ask the Appeals Council to review your case. Only select cases are chosen to be reviewed and this process is not often one that ends in success.
The Appeals Council will generally only take a case if there was an error of law, if there was some form of abuse of discretion during a hearing, if a decision was not founded in substantial evidence or if there was a procedural issue.
Federal Court Review – An applicant’s last option for appealing a denied claim is to file a federal lawsuit against the SSA. However, this can be a challenging process. Legal representation by a qualified disability attorney is absolutely necessary at this level. Approximately one third of cases that make it into a district courtroom are reversed. However, this option can be the costliest and most time consuming.
If you have been denied disability benefits, you need an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer by your side who understands the appeals process and can guide you through each step. Contact Gordon & Doner today to learn more about how our experienced lawyers can help you.
Call 1 (855) 722-2552 to schedule your free claim review today.