Social Security Appeals Attorney in Kentucky
When a person becomes disabled, they should file for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits as soon as possible. Completing an SSD application requires claimants to have important information ready about their medical conditions, employment, and families in order to obtain benefits.
Many applications for SSD benefits are denied annually. In fact, more initial applications are denied than approved. The good news: many initially denied applicants go on to receive the benefits they deserve through the SSD appeals process.
The Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program found that there were 2,505,290 applications for disability benefits in one recent year. Of these, 607,175 resulted in awards, 901,422 were technical denials, 573,186 were medical denials, and 28,138 were subsequent nonmedical denials. Another 393,292 applications were pending final decision.
How a Kentucky SSD Lawyer Can Help With Your Social Security Disability Appeal
You can improve the chances that your SSD benefits application will be approved by having an experienced attorney help you navigate the initial application process and prepare your application.
However, if you have already applied for SSD benefits and have been denied, it is in your best interest to get help from an experienced attorney to guide you through the appeals process and help you avoid some of the most common mistakes that resulted in your initial application being denied.
The time to appeal your SSD denial is limited. Contact our office today.
The Paul Baker Law Office assists clients all over the Barbourville area with SSD claims. One of our experienced social security lawyers can provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call us or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
What to Expect with the SSD Appeals Process in Kentucky
Reconsideration by Department for Disability Determination Services
When your initial application is denied, you will have 60 days to file an appeal with the SSA. The Department for Disability Determination Services makes disability determinations on behalf of the Commissioner of Social Security for residents of Kentucky.
Reconsideration is the second step in the application process and the first step in the appeal process. It can take 3 to 5 months to complete the reconsideration process, and a majority of claims are denied even at this stage.
A person may be able to bolster chances of approval at reconsideration by providing the SSA with additional evidence and complying with all requests made by Disability Determination Services. A lawyer can make sure that your reconsideration request includes all of the necessary information to increase the chances of your claim being approved.
Administrative Law Judge Hearing
If your claim remains denied after reconsideration, you have 60 days to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ will make an independent decision based on the evidence, including your testimony at the hearing.
The ALJ typically holds a hearing within 75 miles of your home. It can take up to 2 years to schedule an ALJ hearing, so a video teleconference may be scheduled in some cases faster than in-person hearing.
The SSA states that it 169 hearing offices nationwide and approximately 40 percent of hearings are held remotely. The Paul Baker Law Office can help schedule an ALJ hearing as quickly as possible.
Appeals Council Review
The Appeals Council is the last administrative decisional level and issues the SSA’s final action on disability claims. The Appeals Council consists of approximately 57 Administrative Appeals Judges, 46 Appeals Officers, and several hundred support personnel.
The Appeals Council can grant, deny, or dismiss a request for review. When it grants the request for review, the Appeals Council either decides the case or returns (remands) it to an ALJ for a new decision.
A claimant must appeal an ALJ decision within 60 days of the date the decision was received or 65 days of the date on the denial. You will want to make sure that you have an attorney if you proceed to the appeals council.
Review in Federal Court
If the Appeals Council denies a claim, the final stage of the appeals process is to have your case reviewed by a federal district court. You will have to file a civil action in the district court of the United States for the judicial district in which you live. There is a fee for filing a civil action in federal court.
When you file a civil action, you will also need to send the SSA copies of the complaint you filed and of the summons issued by the court. The copies must be sent by certified or registered mail to the SSA’s Office of the General Counsel that handles the area where the complaint is filed.
The federal judge may award you benefits, or they could uphold the denial of your claim. You could still be eligible to file another appeal with a federal circuit court under certain circumstances.
Contact a Kentucky Social Security Disability Appeal Attorney Today For Help Appealing Your Claim
Do you need assistance appealing an SSD denial in Kentucky? The Paul Baker Law Office is prepared to work tirelessly to help you obtain the SSD benefits you need and deserve. Call us or contact us online to have our attorney review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free consultation.