One of the benefits that the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides is disability benefits. The program is called the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) to people who become disabled. This program is for people who worked enough to have paid Social Security taxes on their earned income. People who have limited income or recourses may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) instead. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a claimant’s initial application to be denied. It is estimated that approximately 70 percent of claimants are initially denied. When this happens, they are entitled to file an appeal. The first step in requesting that appeal is to fill out and file the SSA’s disability report appeal form.
An Attorney Can Help
When SSA denies an initial claim, the claimant can either reapply for their benefits or appeal the denial. The problem with reapplying is that this means starting from square one again and you will still have that 70 percent risks of being denied again. At this point, you would likely then move to the appeal process. Rather than waste more valuable time for a situation you only have a 30 percent chance of a favorable outcome, it will likely make more sense to move right to appeal the denial of your initial claim.
Although it is not required that a person retains the services of a Social Security disability attorney when appealing their claim denial, there is a much higher rate of success for those claimants who do. The process can be a complex one and if you are unfamiliar with the process and make an error, you could severely jeopardize your appeal.
A claimant who receives a denial letter has 60 days to file an appeal. The first step of the appeal is called request for reconsideration. This is where the claimant is requesting the SSA re-reviews their case. If there were no errors made in the initial application and there has been no new medical evidence, it is likely that there will no change in the agency’s decision.
If the request is denied, the next step is to request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Whether or not a claimant is successful at this level of the appeal is really dependent on the type of evidence the claimant is able to present to the ALJ, as well as the legal arguments given. This is where an experienced Social Security disability attorney is key.
If the ALJ denies benefits, there are two additional appeal levels the claimant has. These are the Appeals Council Review and the U.S. District Court. If your case has gotten to this level and you do not have an attorney advocating for you, it is imperative that you seek out the advice of a Social Security disability attorney before filing for any type of appeal at this level. For more information, contact us today at the Saavedra Law Firm, PLC.