SSD SSDI Appeals Lawyer | Denied SSD Benefits Appeal Lawyer | Social Security Appeals Process
Social Security Appeals Process
If the Social Security Administration denies your initial claim for disability benefits, there are several levels of appeals you can go through to try to have the decision reversed. The appeals process can be long and difficult and you definitely have a Social Security Appeals Lawyer who specializes in Social Security law to guide you through the process.
What are the Stages in an Appeal of a Denied Social security Benefits Application?
Four levels of Appeal
1. Review of Initial Determination.
The first step you can take after your claim is denied is applying for reconsideration through your local field office. A reconsideration is a complete review of your claim conducted by the state-level Disability Determination Services agency. The people who review your claim on appeal are different than the people who made the initial denial. Only about 5 percent of reconsideration claims are granted.
2. Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge
If your reconsideration request (appeal level 1) is denied and you want to continue the appeals process, you have 60 days to ask for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. An administrative law judge works for the SSA's hearings and appeals office. These judges tend to grant 67 percent of the cases they hear.
3. Appeals Council Review
After an administrative law judge hears your case, the Appeals Council may randomly select your case for review. The Appeals Council will only review your case if they find some flaw in the administrative law judges' decision. The Appeals Council is known to only grant 2 to 3 percent of all cases they hear.
4. Federal lawsuit - Social Security Lawsuit Attorneys
After you have exhausted all your appeals options at the level of the Social Security Administration, you may file a lawsuit in a U.S. District Court. In court, a federal judge would decide on your case without a jury. District courts reverse the decisions of administrative law judges or the Appeals Council about 30 percent of the time. Judges often find the SSA did not fully weigh the information provided by a patient's doctor. Only about 1 percent of all disability claimants take their appeals this far, as it can be time consuming and expensive to file such a lawsuit.