What Happens After You Are Turned Down By Social Security?

If you have been denied either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income you must decide if you would like to appeal the Social Security Disability denial decision. The first step in the Social Security Disability appeal’s process, in most states, is the reconsideration. Claimants have sixty-days from the date of the Social Security Disability denial letter to file their Social Security Disability reconsideration paperwork. Claimants may file their reconsiderations online or pick up the paperwork at the nearest Social Security Disability office.

The Social Security Disability reconsideration is another review of your medical records and work activities from a disability examiner who was not involved in the initial denial. The disability examiner will use the same criteria and disability rules to evaluate the claimant’s Social Security Disability claim. Consequently, up to 80% of Social Security Disability reconsiderations are denied a second time. If a claimant is denied a second time at the Social Security Disability reconsideration level it is important to discuss your Social Security Disability case with a Social Security Disability lawyer. Social Security Disability lawyers can help claimants evaluate their Social Security Disability claim and file a request for a Social Security Disability hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge.

Social Security Disability hearings must be requested within 60 days from the date of the reconsideration denial letter. Claimants who do not file their request for their Social Security Disability hearing prior to the deadline will have to file a new Social Security Disability application and start the process again. Request for Social Security Disability hearings are sent from the Social Security Administration Office to the Social Security Hearing Office. The Social Security Hearing Office will schedule the claimant’s Social Security Disability hearing before the Administrative Law Judge.

Scheduling a claimant’s Social Security Disability hearing can take months or even years. The time it takes to schedule the hearing can vary based on the case load at the court where the hearing is scheduled. Administrative Law Judge’s decisions, however, are not necessarily scrutinized as closely as other disability examiners, and they are able to meet the claimant in person, ask questions about the claimant’s disabilities and thoroughly review the claimant’s disability case prior to making their decision. As a result, claimants who make it to the Social Security Disability Hearing level will have a greater chance of receiving Social Security Disability benefits than they did at the Social Security Disability reconsideration level.

What can a claimant do to increase their chances of winning Social Security Disability benefits? Claimants who have waited years for Social Security Disability benefits should discuss their case with a Social Security Disability attorney. Statistically, a claimant’s chances of receiving Social Security Disability benefits at the hearing level increases if they have legal representation. Social Security Disability lawyers understand the legal procedures of the hearing, can gather current medical information about the client’s mental and physical health conditions, answer the claimant’s questions and prep the claimant for their appearance in court. A Social Security Disability lawyer will develop a claimant’s case and present evidence in an unemotional and objective manner to prove the claimant is unable to work, something which may be difficult for a claimant to do.

The Social Security Disability hearing will be scheduled within a few miles from the claimant’s residence. Notice for the Hearing will be sent at least 20 days before the Social Security Disability hearing date. Claimants who wish to hire a Social Security Disability lawyer should contact a lawyer prior to requesting the hearing. Waiting until you receive the hearing notice will not give a Social Security Disability lawyer enough time to gather relevant medical records and prepare the Social Security Disability case.  The claimant’s legal representative will be given the claimants Social Security file and any medical information which has recently been collected.

Decisions for the Social Security Disability hearings are sent to the claimant. If the claimant is awarded Social Security Disability benefits the letter will detail the date the payments will begin and the amount the claimant is eligible to receive.

If Social Security Disability benefits are denied at the hearing level the claimant may appeal their denial decision with the Social Security Appeals’ Council. The Appeals’ Council may review the claim and make a decision about whether they are willing to hearing the claimant’s claim or whether they will send it instead to another Administrative Law Judge for a second review. The Appeals’ Council is the last step in the Social Security Disability appeal’s process. Unfavorable opinions at the Appeals’ Council level may be challenged in United States Federal Court.

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