If you are denied on your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim, do not give up hope. You could still be eligible for benefits and if you believe you’ve been unjustly denied, you may appeal the Social Security disability claim decision.
Act immediately to inform the Social Security Administration (SSA) you intend to appeal the denial and be sure that your request is filed within the 60-day window allowed by the SSA.
If you don’t already have a disability lawyer representing you, now is a great time to consult with one. Make sure you find an attorney who specializes in SSI/SSDI claims to review your case and advise you if you plan to appeal the Social Security disability claim.
You may initiate the appeal process by filing a request online at the SSA website. Once you have requested an appeal, you can work with your attorney to build your appeal case.
Reconsideration Request to Appeal a Social Security Disability Claim
You may first file for a reconsideration of your denied claim. Somebody who is not involved in the initial decision to deny your claim will look at evidence included with your claim, including any new evidence you submit.
For instance, if you’ve visited your doctor recently and gained new information about your condition, you can include it. If your prognosis has changed or worsened or you have encountered side effects or complications, you can update your case with this new information.
You must request your reconsideration within 60 days of your denial, so time is of the essence.
Other Steps to Appeal a Social Security Disability Claim
If you do not agree with the reconsideration decision, you may appeal further by requesting a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). The ALJ will also have had nothing to do with the initial denial or reconsideration.
The ALJ will ask you questions and may question witnesses as well. This may be similar to other types of hearings in front of other judges. Some ALJ hearings are held via video conference.
The next step would be to send your Social Security claim to the Appeals Council. It may review your case and either decide the case or send the case back to an ALJ. In some cases, the Appeals Council won’t review the case if it thinks the ALJ decision was the right one. If you wish to appeal your Social Security disability claim further, or if the Appeals Council doesn’t review the case, you can file your lawsuit in federal district court.
What You Can Expect from a Social Security Appeal
Some factors may affect your appeal such as the following.
- Medical records – If new medical records are requested, you will be subject to wait until those records are received by the disability examiner and then reviewed.
- Current caseload – The disability examiner’s caseload will impact your wait time on appeals. If the examiner has a backlog of cases to review then the process can take longer.
- Residual effects – If you are dealing with an injury or acute illness such as a heart attack that can have long-term effects that are not immediately known, your examiner might need to wait a certain period of time before making a determination on your appeal.
Get Help from Rob Levine & Associates to Appeal a Social Security Disability Claim
If you are concerned about the status of your SSI or SSDI claim and need help with your appeal process, Rob Levine & Associates can help. Our team will work with you to ensure that all necessary medical documentation and forms are filed on time and will follow up to ensure your case receives the attention it deserves.
We will guide you through the entire claim process, including any additional appeals that may be required. Call us today at 866-LAW-SSDI to set up a consultation to discuss your case with an attorney.