Depending on the type of appeal and the strength of your legal representation, the timeline for an appeal decision can vary. While each case is different, there are some standard periods that give you a general idea of how long it could take.
At Pilzer Klein, our Social Security Disability lawyers in Greenville, SC, explain what factors affect how long it takes to receive a decision and what your chances are at each appeal stage. Read on to learn more about your chances of winning your benefits and how long it could take.
Different Types of Appeals
There are three types of appeals in the Social Security Administration’s appeal process. In addition, there is one that is not a part of its process, the federal court review, but our attorneys can still advocate for you in this step.
Reconsideration is an administrative review of your initial denial by the same state agency. It involves a paper review of the evidence you already submitted with your initial application.
Having additional documentation like recent medical records or notes from treating physicians describing how your conditions have worsened can strengthen your case at reconsideration. Our Social Security Disability lawyer in Greenville, SC, can review your medical records to ensure all relevant evidence of your limitations is submitted for reconsideration.
At the hearing level, you will participate in a video or in-person meeting called a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). This provides an opportunity for you and any witnesses to verbally explain how your conditions prevent you from working.
The ALJ considers new evidence and testimony to make an independent decision. It is important to submit a detailed written brief outlining your arguments and perspective before the hearing.
A Social Security Disability attorney in Greenville, SC, can assist you in organizing this information. We know how to question medical experts and vocational specialists who also participate.
If the ALJ denies your claim, you can request an Appeals Council review of the decision. This involves identifying factual or legal errors for reconsideration or submitting additional evidence.
Well-documented requests are more likely to be granted and lead to further review and potential approval. An attorney can advise you on the issues to highlight and the format of your Appeals Council submission.
Our team understands what arguments are most persuasive at this stage. We can also evaluate if it is better to pursue your case directly in federal court rather than await the Appeals Council’s lengthy review process.
Federal District Court
If your claim is still denied after administrative review, the final option is filing in federal district court. However, lengthy waits due to overburdened court dockets are common, taking a long time in many cases just to be scheduled.
Here, representative legal motions and filings take priority over people without a lawyer. Our experienced disability lawyers in Greenville, SC, know the proper procedures and presentation methods to help your case go smoothly. We can help determine legal strategies based on the specific errors in your case.
For a free legal consultation, call 864-235-0234
Your Chances of Winning At Each Appeal Stage in South Carolina
It’s tricky to determine your chances of winning your benefits at each stage without considering your specific case. However, research from a national perspective can help you understand the average likelihood of winning at each stage. According to USAFacts’ report detailing the process of 2 million people that applied for benefits, your chances of being successful in the following appeal stages are:
- Reconsideration: 15% of applicants were granted benefits after their reconsideration.
- Hearing: 51% of applicants were approved at this stage. The hearing appeals stage has the highest amount of success, which could be due to additional medical evidence.
- Appeals Council: Only 1% of Social Security Disability applicants were approved at this stage. Nationally, the majority of them were denied or dismissed.
- Federal court review: Again, only 1% of applicants’ benefits were approved. Federal court review is much more difficult since you are suing the SSA itself.
While this data can be a bit disappointing, it shows that appealing increases your chances. USAFacts states that only 38% of people who meet technical requirements were accepted, while 50% of people who chose to appeal were approved, so there is hope.
Why Is Pilzer Klein the Right Choice to Help You File Your Disability Appeal?
We focus solely on Social Security disability cases. Our Social Security Disability attorneys in Greenville, SC, have extensive experience with the unique legal system that Social Security uses for disability benefits.
We will personalize your appeal strategy based on a thorough understanding of what evidence and arguments will be most persuasive. We’ve been achieving successful outcomes for South Carolinians for over 35 years and have over 50 years of combined experience.
As a local firm, we have deep knowledge of the healthcare resources in your community and relationships with those handling cases in your local Social Security office. When your lawyer knows the area in which you live and receive treatment, they are better equipped to represent you. Our exclusive focus on disability appeals gives us an advantage over practices that handle various legal matters and may be less familiar with the specifics of Social Security.
From the initial consultation, one of our attorneys will personally handle your appeal from start to finish. Don Pilzer and Kevin Klein are actively involved in every aspect of your case, not just major events. You’ll work directly with our experienced lawyers committed to guiding you through the appeals process, not rotating teams of representatives.
Learn More About How Long it Takes SSA to Decide on an Appeal
At Pilzer Klein, our Social Security Disability attorneys in Greenville, SC, are here to help you through what can be a difficult and long process. Our team can assess your situation in a free case consultation.
Contact us to schedule a meeting with us today.