A Social Security Disability appeal can sometimes be decided in as little as four to 12 weeks; however, it is common for a case that moves to the hearing stage to take a year and a half or longer. Delays in obtaining medical records from various doctors and the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) caseload can lead to longer wait times.
While the wait for approval can be nerve-wracking, understanding the various stages of the appeals process can make it more bearable. There are also deadlines to meet, and working with aSocial Security Disability appeals lawyercan ensure you meet those.
Please keep in mind that a five-month waiting period starts after you are approved for benefits.
How Long Do I Have To Appeal the SSA’s Decision?
When facing a denial, you should be aware that strict time limits apply during the appeal process. For instance, if your benefits were denied at a certain level, you must submit your claim at the subsequent level within 60 days of receiving a denial decision.
Successfully appealing theSocial Security Administration (SSA)decision can be complicated, so it is crucial to build a compelling case for benefits and submit your paperwork on time during each stage.
When you hire one of our attorneys, our team will review your case, explain your legal options, and help you craft a strong argument for why you should receive disability benefits.
For a free legal consultation, call 864-235-0234
What Are the Stages in the Appeal Process?
While it can be frustrating to receive a denial notice, don’t give up; you can continue to the next stage and fight for your disability benefits. You have a few more opportunities to build a stronger case and have it reviewed.
Your appeal begins at the administrative level and continues to the appeal council. Beyond that, your attorney can take your case all the way to Federal Court. Each time your appeal is denied, you can move on to the next stage.
Here are the levels of appeal:
- Request for reconsideration: After an initial denial, you can request that the SSA reconsider its decision. This allows you to provide evidence and information not included in your initial application. You must fill out the request form, and you or your attorney can send it, or hand carry it to the nearest Social Security office.
- Hearing: If you disagree with the SSA’s response to your reconsideration request, you can proceed to the next level and request adisability hearingwith an administrative law judge. It can take a while for this hearing to be scheduled, but once it happens, the judge typically makes a decision within a month. This is just an estimate, and your attorney has no control over how long it takes.
- Appeals Council review: If your disability claim is denied at the hearing level, the next step is to request a review with the Appeals Council to review and analyze the administrative law judge’s decision. You must ask for this review within 60 days of receiving the decision.
If the SSA’s decision is still not in your favor, you can file a federal court action with theU.S. District Court. The federal court review stage is beyond administrative review. At that point, you would be suing the SSA in federal court.
Why Should I Appeal Instead of Reapplying?
Appealing a disability denial can often be more advantageous than reapplying for the benefits from scratch. This is because appealing preserves the initial application date, whereas reapplying requires restarting the months-long application process.
Keeping your case going also has an important implication on back pay: The SSA uses your original application date to calculate back pay, meaning reclaiming it via appeal can make you eligible for a larger sum.
This critical difference should be weighed against any potential waiting times caused by an appeal when deciding whether to pursue a new hearing or reapply. Appealing could save you money in the long run that you would otherwise lose out on if you decided to start over with a completely new application.
Why Should I Work With Your Social Security Disability Attorneys?
While hiring an attorney to help with your appeal is not mandatory, having professional legal representation can improve your chances of a favorable outcome. Our experienced lawyers are well-versed in the appeals process and can help you navigate each stage.
Unlike many of our competitors, we do not pass your case to non-attorney employees. Instead, our lawyers speak with each new client personally. We also like to meet you well before the hearing so we can prepare you.
Additional benefits of working with our team include:
- Contingency fee payment structure:Our attorneys handle cases on contingency, meaning you don’t pay us unless we win your case.
- Cost-effective evidence collection: We collect medical evidence and records for you and do this budget-consciously.
- Collaboration with experts:We can bolster your case with medical and vocational expert opinions.
- Consultative evaluation:We ask for a consultative evaluation from the SSA when appropriate.
- Personalized case strategies: We can explore all available options and create a personalized plan to secure disability benefits.
Our law firm has helped thousands of disabled clients achieve approvals. We understand how the Social Security Disability system works and can help you avoidmistakes when applyingfor benefits or appealing a previous decision.
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Contact Our Law Firm Today for a Free Consultation
Whether you need assistance with your initial application or have already received a denial, we can advise you of your next steps and represent you throughout the process. With years of experience in this practice area, Pilzer Klein is a trusted name in Social Security Disability Law. Unlike many other law firms that handle these cases, Social Security Disability is all we do.
Our lawyers can guide you through the complex process of appealing a denial decision and are ready to fight for the benefits you deserve. We are committed to providing personalized solutions for our clients and will work tirelessly to achieve a positive outcome in your case.
Contact ustoday to schedule a free consultation and take the first step toward securing benefits.