Denied Social Security Disability Appeal
Every year, applicants across the country have their applications for Social Security Disability (SSD) claims denied. Denials occur even when people are disabled and should qualify for benefits. When this happens, denied applicants miss out on benefits they often desperately need.
But, even if your initial application is denied, do not give up. You may still have a very good chance of receiving benefits. You should know that if your claim is denied at first, you have the right to file an appeal. Approval rates increase the further along a person is in the appeal process, so don’t lose hope after the first rejection notice.
If you have had your application for SSD benefits denied, talk to a qualified SSD appeal lawyer for help in exercising your rights to appeal the decision. An experienced attorney will know how to prove your disability and help you obtain the benefits you need and deserve.
Paul Baker Law Office has been helping clients all over Kentucky with Social Security claims since 1984. Call us or contact us online now to set up a free consultation.
Reasons You Could Be Denied a Social Security Disability Appeal
Social Security appeals can be denied for a variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons involves paperwork requirements. For example, an applicant may forget to include an important document or may possibly fill out a form incorrectly.
Sometimes the appeal is denied because an applicant fails to provide enough evidence to demonstrate that they are deserving of an appeal.
Other appeals are denied because an applicant did not show how the original decision was incorrect or present any new evidence that would lead to a change in the decision.
Some appeals are denied simply because the applicant could not be located when the Social Security Administration (SSA) attempted to contact them.
Some people are medically qualified for disability benefits but are not financially eligible. Such applicants may later become eligible because of changes to income or living arrangements.
It can be more difficult for people to obtain benefits when they are medically qualified but were denied for non-medical reasons. You attorney can make sure the information on your application is accurate to avoid a wrongful denial based on ineligibility.
Social Security Disability: Four Levels of Appeal
The Social Security appeals process is broken into four stages, meaning you have four different opportunities to appeal the decision.
1. Request for reconsideration
A request for reconsideration is a complete review of your claim. This review is typically easier to complete than the initial claim and may be completed online. Reconsideration will involve a comparison of an updated claim to the original claim.
A reconsideration of the original claim is handled by a medical consultant and examiner who did not take part in the initial decision. A reconsideration of a continuing disability claim applies to cases of individuals who were awarded benefits but then had the benefits terminated.
2. Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing
An ALJ hearing takes place when a request for reconsideration results in denial. This hearing must be requested within 60 days of the reconsideration denial.
3. Review by the Appeals Council
If an ALJ hearing is unsuccessful, the next step is to request a review by the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council can dismiss a case without review unless it finds that the ALJ decision was not supported by the evidence. It can also dismiss a case if there was an error of law by the ALJ or some kind of procedural issue with the case.
4. Filing a Lawsuit
When an Appeals Council request does not result in benefits, the final stage of appeals is to sue the SSA in federal court. When you file a case in a United States District Court, your case will be heard by a single judge rather than a jury.
Overall, a person could spend years exhausting all of their appeal options. Working with an attorney can give you the best chance of resolving your case successfully sooner into the appeal process.
Should You Reapply or Appeal a Denied Disability Application?
Many people who have been denied Social Security benefits wonder if they should reapply for benefits rather than file an appeal. The answer is no. Reapplying is usually a mistake because the chances of denial are often higher in the introductory stages.
The ALJ hearing offers a far greater chance for approval, especially when applicants can present new evidence. There are several reasons why this stage is more favorable to applicants.
The judge in an ALJ hearing does not have to be concerned with oversight by supervisors who may be worried about previous approvals. They will be more willing to hear the arguments of an applicant or their attorney. They may also be more apt to give credence to the applicant’s doctor and hear from witnesses who can speak to the applicant’s inability to reenter the workforce.
The ALJ hearing often represents the best chance at getting a claim approved. Approval rates are lower for requests for reconsideration, Appeals Council reviews, and federal court cases. Keep in mind that a person must exercise all of their other appeal options before they can file a lawsuit in federal court.
The only situation in which you would probably want to reapply for SSD benefits is if you missed a deadline for appealing your decision. You should still see if you are able to get an extension before you decide to reapply.
Hiring a Kentucky Social Security Disability Attorney
Do you need help obtaining SSD benefits after having your initial application denied? You need a skilled lawyer on your side to give you the best possible chance of recovering benefits.
Paul Baker Law Office has over three decades of experience handling disability claims. We can look over your case and discuss all your legal options. Call us or contact us online now to take advantage of a free consultation. We are ready to fight for your rights to seek the benefits you deserve.