I Was Denied Disability Benefits, What Now?
The Appeals Process
Your initial Social Security Disability application is looked at by a claims examiner from a state agency called Disability Determination Services. If that initial application is denied and you are still unable to work because of your conditions, you must file a timely appeal within sixty days of the date on the denial letter you receive.
If you are already a client, we will contact you directly and go over the information that is needed to submit this appeal for you. We will make sure that all paperwork is filed in a timely manner and that Social Security will have all of the information they could need to process your appeal.
If you are not yet a client, but would like help with your appeal, please contact one of our Client Service Representatives at 1-800-488-4775. To file an appeal on your behalf we will need to have signed representation paperwork from you and a copy of the denial letter that Social Security sent to you.
As mentioned above, the person who makes the first decision in your case is a Clams Examiner from Disability Determination Services. In most states, the first level of appeal is the Reconsideration, which is where another claims examiner from Disability Determination Services looks at your claim. The new claims examiner looks over the whole file and sees if there is anything the original examiner missed or if there may be new evidence that changes the decision.
While this type of appeal is not usually the most effective means of appealing, in most states it is the necessary step before you can get to try your case in front of an Administrative Law Judge. We can help make this a more effective step by making sure that Social Security has all of the information they could possibly need to know to make an informed decision. We will be able to guide you and your case through the reconsideration process, while limiting your stress.
Even if your state (this includes Pennsylvania) does not require the Reconsideration process, you still have strict guidelines on how to appeal. A request for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge must be submitted within 60 days of the date on your denial letter. It is important to have legal professionals look over your case before you submit any kind of appeal to ensure that your next step is the right one. If you are not yet a client, but would like help with your appeal, please contact us.
Most Social Security Disability cases are determined by an Administrative Law Judge. An Administrative Law Judge is a judge who does not directly work for Social Security, but instead, works for the Office of Disability, Adjudication, and Review (O.D.A.R.). Even though the O.D.A.R. is not technically part of the Social Security Administration, the majority of Social Security Disability decisions are made at this level.
While the Administrative Law Judge is supposed to be impartial, his decisions are reviewed, and many times judges who grant more benefits are scrutinized because of that fact. For this reason, it is always best to hire experienced attorneys to assist you in your Administrative Law Judge hearing.
Since the Administrative Law Judge hearing is such a big part of the Appeals Process, we ask that you go to our article The Social Security Disability Hearing for a more detailed description of how we can help you.
Call our office today and see if you qualify:
While we try to provide as much information on our webpage as possible, the best way to find out if you are eligible is to contact one of our Client Service Representatives today. You may reach our office toll free at 1-800-488-4775.