Denied Disability – Now What?
In the wake of your debilitating illness or injury, we are sure the last thing you want to deal with is the bureaucratic red tape of the Social Security Administration. If you are denied disability and are unsure where to turn, you should contact the attorneys at Pashler & Devereaux today. There are a series of appeals available to denied candidates, and many applicants are successful on their first, second or third appeal. As your Social Security attorney, we can explain the appeals process, deadlines and standards you must meet meet in order to successfully receive your rightful benefits.
Understanding the Reconsideration Stage
We have met many Western New Yorkers who are ready to throw in the towel after receiving an initial denial from the Social Security Administration. Don’t do this. This is exactly what the disability application process is designed to do — encourage you to abandon your application for disability benefits.
If you were denied benefits after your first attempt, as your Social Security attorney, we will immediately begin by helping you file for a reconsideration of benefits. In order to apply for the reconsideration, you must submit the following:
- Form SSA-561: Reconsideration of Benefits
- Form SSA-3441: Disability Report – Appeal
- Form SSA-827: Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration
Understanding the Administrative Law Hearing Level
If your reconsideration is denied, the second level of appeals is known as the administrative law hearing. This will be the only opportunity you have in the disability application process to tell a decision maker why you cannot work. This stage of the disability application process can cause great anxiety. As you may have heard in media reports, some administrative law judges grant benefits to a high percentage of claimants. Others deny most of the cases they hear.
At this stage, we understand that some factors are outside of our control. But we believe the only way to address the randomness in the application process is by preparing you for a hearing to enable you to provide honest and consistent testimony to an administrative law judge about how your injury or illness has affected your ability to work. In addition to preparing you to testify, we will collect all medical and other evidence and review what has already been submitted.
We know that you may be nervous in the weeks leading up to your hearing and we’ll will meet with you in advance and prepare you for your hearing. We will review what the administrative law judge will ask you and explain what to expect from start to finish.
Understanding How to Appeal a Denial
If your claim for benefits is denied by the administrative law judge, the SSA provides applicants with one final appeals option. The SSA maintains a special Appeals Council that reviews the paperwork trail of your case and is considered as the “last top” for unsuccessful claimants. From the Appeals Council, you may appeal to a United States Federal District Court.
If your case has to be appealed to a United States Federal District Court, you will need a disability attorney that will continue to fight for the benefits you deserve. When choosing a disability lawyer, you should choose a law firm that is prepared to represent you at any stage of the disability application process, including the federal courts. Our goal is to win your case during the administrative process. If your application is not successful at the hearings level, we are ready to pursue your appeal to the Appeals Council and beyond. We will be prepared to use our experience in litigation and appeals on your behalf.