Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are a lifeline for many who cannot earn a living due to a debilitating medical condition. Receiving a notice of denial can leave you feeling crushed and uncertain about your future. However, this does not have to be the end of the road; you can appeal the decision and continue pursuing the benefits you are owed.
As experienced Social Security Disability appeal lawyers, we understand how devastating it can be to receive a decision of denial. Pilzer Klein is dedicated to helping individuals like you navigate the complex appeals process and fight for benefits. Contact us today to discuss your case.
When Should I Appeal a Decision Made by the SSA?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) sends a formal notice to inform you of a denial. If you believe that the SSA made an error in denying your claim, you have the right to request an appeal. Additionally, if you receive a decision granting benefits but feel the amount or onset date is incorrect, you can also appeal to seek a more favorable outcome.
If you or someone you know has received a denial notice, it’s essential not to lose hope. The SSA denies many initial claims, but that doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to these benefits. Working with a Social Security Disability lawyer will increase the chances of a successful outcome for your appeal.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident? Contact Pilzer Klein Law864-235-0234
Understanding Why Your Disability Claim Was Denied
The first step after receiving a denial notice is to review the reasons for the decision carefully. Understanding the grounds on which your claim was rejected can help you identify potential issues and strengthen your case for the appeal.
Common reasons for a denied Social Security Disability claim include:
- Lack of sufficient medical evidence
- Failure to meet the definition of disability
- Engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA)
- Non-compliance with medical treatment
- Criminal conviction
- Short-term or partial disability
- Lack of work credits
- You earn too much income
A denial letter regarding your SSD claim contains specific information about the reasons for the denial. The letter aims to provide a clear explanation as to why the SSA determined that the claimant is not eligible for benefits. Your attorney at Pilzer Klein will also review the notice and identify any potential issues to address.
You Have Four Opportunities To Appeal Your Social Security Disability Claim
During the appeal, you can present a more comprehensive case to support your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits. To strengthen your claim, you can submit additional medical records, witness statements, and additional evidence.
The initial three stages of appeal constitute the SSA administrative review, whereas the final stage extends beyond this process. If your appeal is denied at a stage, you can move to the next one. However, you may not have to complete all the stages.
You can start by asking the SSA to reconsider their initial decision. If you request a disability reconsideration, a qualified examiner working at the Disability Determination Services (DDS) will handle your claim.
After filling out the Request for Reconsideration, you can submit it at the closest Social Security office. You can also fax or mail the form.
Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
If you disagree with the decision made during the reconsideration stage, you can request a hearing with a judge. The hearing can be via phone, online video meeting, or in person.
At this stage, the ALJ analyzes your request and the submitted evidence. They may ask questions about your health and the medical condition preventing you from working. Witnesses and medical specialists may also testify on your behalf.
The hearing provides a crucial opportunity to present your case directly to the judge, allowing you to explain how your disability affects your ability to work and why you believe you qualify for SSD benefits.
Appeals Council Review
The next stage is to take your appeal request before the Appeals Council. If they will reconsider your claim, your case will be returned to a judge for further analysis. However, if they agree with the previous decision, your request will be denied.
Federal Court Review
Finally, your last opportunity to claim SSD benefits is outside the SSA system. At this point, you are filing a civil lawsuit against the U.S. government in a Federal District Court.
Having an experienced Social Security Disability attorney is crucial as they understand the complex legal aspects involved in federal court proceedings. They can skillfully craft legal arguments and present a persuasive case on your behalf.
Meet the Deadline for the Social Security Disability Appeal Process
Meeting the deadline for the Social Security Disability (SSD) appeal process is critical to preserve your rights and pursue the benefits you need. The SSA strictly enforces time limits for filing appeals, and failure to meet these deadlines can result in losing the opportunity to challenge a denial of benefits.
You have 60 days after receiving the notice with the initial decision to request a reconsideration. The SSA will assume that you have received the letter within five days after the date on the document. However, if you have convincing evidence that you received the notice later, they may reconsider the date.
The same 60-day time limit applies for each stage of the appeals process. For example, you gave 60 days to bring your claim before the Appeals Council after you learned that the ALJ denied your benefits.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form nowContact Us
Call a Social Security Disability Appeal Lawyer Today
The appeals process for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be challenging for claimants. One of the main obstacles is the complexity of the process itself, which involves multiple stages, strict deadlines, and intricate legal procedures. However, an experienced Social Security Disability appeals lawyer will guide you through the process.
At Pilzer Klein, Social Security Disability is all we do. We have successfully represented numerous clients in their quest for disability benefits. Our legal team is passionate about positively impacting the lives of those facing difficulties due to debilitating medical conditions. Contact us today to discuss your options for financial assistance.