Did you know that 70% of first-time Social Security Disability claims are denied? You’ve spent years paying into the Social Security system, and you can no longer work because of a medical condition. Having your Social Security Disability application denied can be more than frustrating: it can make it impossible to pay your bills! On top of that, the Social Security Disability appeals process can be confusing, but we’re here to help you understand the system.
1. Find a Memphis attorney right away!
Because the Social Security Disability appeals process can be so complicated, it’s important to hire an attorney as soon as you receive your notice of denial. A competent attorney will be able to determine why your claim was denied and help you file your appeal quickly. Time is of the essence, so don’t procrastinate!
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2. Submit your Social Security Disability appeals application within 60 days
It’s very important to remember that you only have 60 days to submit an appeal from the date you receive your notice of denial. Not only do you need the Social Security income to make ends meet, but your appeal might be denied if you don’t submit it within those 60 days. An experienced attorney can help you submit your Social Security Disability appeals application more quickly, and your application is more likely to be accepted than if you write and submit it yourself.
3. 4 Levels of Social Security Disability Appeals
Making sure you receive the Social Security Disability benefits you deserve is important; thankfully, there are several levels of appeals to help the Social Security office reach the right decision.
- Reconsideration: A request for reconsideration is simply asking the Social Security office to reconsider your initial application or the termination of benefits after continuing disability review. The reconsideration will be completed by someone who was not part of the original decision and will review your files, plus any new evidence. Some states skip the reconsideration phase, but Tennessee offers this level of Social Security Disability appeals.
- Administrative Law Judge Hearing: If your request for reconsideration is denied, you may request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) within 60 days. The ALJ will question you and any witnesses you bring, such as vocational or medical experts. These experts may provide additional information for your case. Your attorney may also question the witnesses.
- Request review by the Appeals Council: If your case is denied at an Administrative Law Judge Hearing, you have the right to appeal to Social Security’s Appeals Council. This council reviews hearing decisions and can “remand” cases, or send them back to judges when mistakes were made. In a few cases, the Appeals Council will reverse the ALJ hearing decision. However, it can take about a year to get a decision from the Appeals Council, so it’s important your case does not reach this stage! Hiring an experienced attorney can help prevent your case from reaching the Appeals Council.
- Federal Court: Finally, if your Social Security Disability appeals case is denied by the Appeals Council, you can file a lawsuit in federal court. If you haven’t used an attorney to this point, you certainly need one now. Appealing in federal court is a lengthy and expensive process, which few Social Security Disability appeals claimants reach.
The Social Security Disability appeals process can be confusing and tie up the benefits that you deserve. Darrell Castle is an experienced Social Security Disability attorney who can help you file a successful appeal quickly, so you can get your benefits back. Learn more about Social Security Disability Insurance in our free report here or call us for a free consultation at 901-327-1212.