Millions of Americans apply for disability benefits every year, but unfortunately the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies a major amount of claims that it receives.
If the SSA did not approve your application for benefits, then you have every right to appeal.
Note: There is a very stringent time limit on when you can process this appeal. You can give us a call if you are unsure what to do.
Immediately after you receive your letter of denial in the mail, make sure to contact Social Security Counseling Center to speak to a Social Security disability lawyer about your options.
You don’t want to forfeit any benefits you and your family may need.
So, how long do you have to appeal your Social Security disability claim?
You have 60 days after you received your “Social Security Notice of Disapproved Claim” in the mail to begin your appeal.
The SSA allows you a five day grace period starting on the date on the letter for mail delivery times.
On the bottom of your denial letter, you will notice a reminder regarding this 60-day time limit.
It is imperative that you to take immediate action to start on your appeal as soon as possible.
Waiting will only stall your right to the benefits that you deserve, and also could nullify your claim. If you do not file an appeal within the allotted time, the SSA will definitely close your file.
What does the Social Security disability appeals procedures involve? There are a small number of possible appeals.
Each appeal will allow you another possibility to restate your case and provide supplementary evidence to support your claim.
To begin your appeal, you must first request a hearing with an administrative judge that will oversee your particular case.
You could possibly wait well over a year for your hearing, depending on the court’s backlogs.
The Social Security Administration will inform you and your lawyer of the hearing’s date and location.
When you work with Social Security Counseling Center, we will make use of that time before the hearing to assemble as much proof as possible to prove your case and present it to the administrative judge.
What can happen at your hearing with an administrative judge?
The SSA conducts disability hearings at an Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR), usually within 75 miles of the claimant’s home.
A federally appointed administrative judge will carry out the hearing and review any new evidence that is presented.
Administrative judges are appointed; they are not officially under the SSA’s authority.
They are independent and unbiased, which enables them to make impartial decisions about your claim.
At your hearing, the administrative judge will evaluate your file and consider your medical and occupational proof.
This will include all your documentation from your initial claim, and any new evidence you or your lawyer updated for ODAR.
After consideration, the SSA will send you a copy of their decision.
Warning: It is in your best interest to have a attorney from our firm to help you get ready for this hearing and to insure every measure is taken on your behalf throughout the proceedings.
The majority people are unfamiliar with how to properly prepare a case, or how to present a lawful claim and to determine what types of regulations a claim is subject to, or what Social Security policies and procedures are.
Our capable disability attorneys at Social Security Counseling Center are extremely familiar with this vital information and we know how to expertly handle your appeal.
What if the administrative judge denies my claim, also?
If the administrative judge upholds the previous decision to deny your disability claim at your hearing, you still have recourse.
You can take another step in the appeals process and ask for the Social Security Appeals Council to review your decision.
If the Appeals Council agrees to evaluate your case, it may decide to uphold the administrative judge’s decision and also reject your benefits or they may approve your case, or Send the case back to an administrative judge for additional consideration.
If the Appeals Council upholds your decision then you still have one more possibility that you can attempt. You can then file a lawsuit in a Federal District Court.
How can Social Security Counseling Center help with you with your Social Security disability appeal?
Having a lawyer will greatly improve your chances of getting a positive decision.
The Social Security lawyers at Social Security Counseling Center have more than 40 years of experience representing people in our local community living with disabilities.
While preparing for your hearing, your Social Security Counseling Center attorney will gather crucial evidence to validate your claim and get you ready for your testimony.
Our staff will be there every step of the way to respond to all your questions and direct you through this difficult process.
At your hearing, your lawyer will present evidence, take testimony, and argue your case before the administrative judge.
Success is extremely possible at this phase because you can appear before your administrative judge and tell them personally about your disability and issues in your words.
We know that your benefits are incredibly essential to you when you are not able to work.
We will take the time to get to know you and your circumstances in order to advise you on the most appropriate way to proceed to obtain your rights.
If the administrative judge does deny your claim, we will immediately be ready to request a review with the Appeals Council, and we will even file a federal suit on your behalf if it ends up being appropriate to file such an appeal in your case.
Make sure to contact us before you get stuck in the appeals process, then hopefully we can avoid lost time, money and benefits.