If your disability claim has been denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA), there is no need to worry. In fact, a vast majority of claims are denied the first time they are submitted. If you find yourself in this position, all you need to do is appeal the decision. Here’s how to do it.
Read your denial letter carefully and completely
If your disability claim is denied, you will be informed by a formal letter. Do not disregard this letter. In fact, you need to read it carefully because it contains important information about what you need to do next. Carefully and completely follow any instructions found within letter.
You only have 60 days to make your appeal, so do not hesitate in doing so. All you need to do to start the appeals process is fill out a “Request for Reconsideration” form. Obtain this form from your local SSA office.
Request a hearing
Next, you must request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). This judge reviews your case and determines if there is reason for a reversal of the original denial.
Request a review by the Appeals Council
If your case made it past the ALJ, there is no need to go any further, you will begin receiving your benefits shortly. However, if it was denied, you can request a review by the Appeals Council. This group reviews your case again and decides if the judge made a mistake by not approving your case. If the Appeals Council determines that a judge made a mistake, your case goes back to the deciding judge or the council simply reverses the decision. Please be aware, this part of the process can take as much as one year to come to completion.
File an appeal in the Federal Court
If your claim has not been approved by this point, you can take your appeal to the federal level. The federal court reviews your case yet again, and someone makes a decision.
Seek legal help
You have the right to legal representation throughout your entire appeals process. So, your best move might be to hire a lawyer who is familiar with the disability application process to help you through it. Disability lawyers only get paid if the case is won, which make them work harder for you.
The appeals process can be lengthy and stressful. But, if you feel you are entitled to disability benefits, it is worth the effort. If you have questions regarding an appeal of your disability case or would like help through the process, the experienced staff at the law office of Daniel Berger is here to help you. Contact us today.