If your application for Social Security disability benefits is denied upon reconsideration, it’s understandable to feel discouraged. However, this doesn’t have to be the end of the process.
A Greenville, SC, Social Security Disability lawyer from Pilzer Klein can help you prepare for the next step: attending an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing. Read on to learn what you need to do to prepare.
Why Are Disability Reconsiderations Denied in South Carolina?
Your request for reconsideration could have been denied for several reasons. But in our law firm’s 50 years of combined experience, our lawyer has seen the following reasons:
Insufficient Medical Evidence
The Social Security Administration (SSA) needs detailed records, reports, and opinions from acceptable medical sources to properly evaluate impairments’ severity and functional limitations. General statements that a condition “limits activities” are not specific enough.
For example, a doctor’s note saying back pain limits lifting and walking without specifics like the maximum weights you can lift or distances and durations you can walk provides insufficient evidence. Quantified measurements, diagnostic test results, and comprehensive treatment histories give a fuller picture.
Gaps in Treatment History
Gaps raise questions about whether you consistently pursued medical care to improve your condition or if it was truly disabling. For example, 6 months of therapy for depression 2 years ago with no recent treatment suggests the depression may have improved or been manageable.
Ongoing care shows that you tried to seek relief. If you stop treatment without good cause, it questions the true severity of your disability.
Failure to Follow Prescribed Treatment
Following doctor’s orders supports your claims that you tried all the options to help your disability. For example, refusing a recommended surgical consultation for a herniated disc without justification implies that you stopped treatment routes without valid medical reasons, raising doubts your impairment is as serious as you claim.
Young Age or Limited Work History
Younger persons and people with less extensive work histories face higher evidentiary hurdles. A 25-year-old with only 1 year as a cashier would have difficulty proving no other sedentary jobs could ever be performed compared to a 55-year-old construction worker with 30+ years of relevant experience, physical labor skills, and ongoing impairments. For a successful case, you need extensive proof of an inability to adjust to any type of work.
For a free legal consultation, call 864-235-0234
Steps You Need to Take After Your Request for Reconsideration Is Denied
After your request for reconsideration has been denied, you should act immediately to preserve your ability to collect your disability benefits by attending a hearing. Here are the steps you should take after the Social Security Administration denies your request for reconsideration:
Contact a Social Security Disability Lawyer from Pilzer Klein
When you’ve been denied reconsideration, you should obtain legal help as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to build a strong case that will hold up in front of a judge.
If you contact your lawyer early on, they can properly assess your case and determine what strategies will work for your case. Another reason you should get legal assistance as soon as possible is because there are strict requirements, and your attorney can help you meet them. If you choose to forgo legal help, you may miss deadlines and requirements, resulting in failing to get your disability benefits.
Request a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge
From the day you receive your denial for reconsideration of your disability benefits, you have only 60 days to request a hearing. You must request one as soon as possible so you don’t miss the deadline and the chance to get your benefits.
While waiting for your hearing, you can work with your Greenville, SC, Social Security Disability attorney to develop your testimony. Your attorney can help you prepare for your case at every step.
Gather Additional Medical Evidence
When facing an ALJ in a hearing, you want to make sure that your case is stronger than ever because you’ll be facing additional scrutiny of your case. Seeking exams from medical specialists can significantly strengthen your case. Ask your lawyer to request exams with doctors who focus on your particular impairments, like an orthopedist to evaluate your back issues or a psychologist to assess your mental health condition.
Medical specialists bring important experience that lends credibility to your claims. They may also provide more detailed assessments of how your conditions impact your ability to work. In addition to specialist exams, you can submit records from treating sources like therapists, chiropractors, and others involved in your care.
Doing so gives a full picture of the treatment attempts you made and the persistence of your symptoms over time. Be sure to include detailed medical source statements directly from physicians addressing your abilities to perform work tasks like lifting, sitting, and concentrating. You should provide functional evidence of the physical and mental limitations that make gainful employment unsustainable.
Why Is Your Law Firm Different than Other SSD Law Firms?
When you need help collecting Social Security Disability benefits, you need a successful law firm that cares for you. Another reason our disability benefits lawyer stands out from other firms is that we’re a local South Carolina firm. So you don’t have to worry about a national attorney taking on your case and feeling like a stranger to them.
Our local focus helps us serve you better as our client. Also, Social Security Disability is our lawyer’s only focus. Your lawyer has the necessary experience to handle your case and is dedicated to winning your case and the benefits you’ve been waiting for.
We’re the right firm for your case because we’re licensed to practice disability law. An advocate can help you with your case, but they’re not an attorney and don’t have the same impact as our Greenville, SC, Social Security Disability lawyers. Your lawyer knows how to create a compelling argument that persuades the judge.
Look at our testimonials if you want another reason to choose us as your legal team.
Learn More About What Happens If Your Reconsideration Is Denied
At Pilzer Klein, our Greenville, SC, Social Security Disability lawyer understands your stress and anxiety after being denied. That’s why your lawyer is here to help you through this and build a strong disability benefits case that stands up to an ALJ.
Contact us to learn more about what happens after your disability reconsideration is denied.