If you have already attempted to file a Social Security Disability (SSDI) claim and it was denied, you need to request an appeal within 60 days. Incredibly enough, the majority of denied SSDI claims are never appealed. Injured workers either file an appeal too late, mistakenly file a new claim, or else give up on the process entirely.
Greg Marks can help you file a successful appeal that helps you obtain the benefits you deserve. Call us today to (502) 244-4800 to schedule a free, no-obligation claim evaluation.
The Five Levels of Appeal
There are five main levels of appeal in the SSDI claims process:
- Request for Reconsideration of Original Claim – If your initial claim was denied, your first step should be to request reconsideration. Reconsideration of an initial SSDI claim is performed by a medical consultant and examiner who were not involved in the initial denial decision. If your claim is still denied, you must request an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing.
- Request for Reconsideration of Continuing Disability Claim – If you were already receiving SSDI benefits and the Social Security Administration cut you off after a Continuing Disability Review (CDR), you need to request a reconsideration of your Continuing Disability Claim. This occurs at a hearing with a disability hearing officer.
- Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Hearing – If your Request for Reconsideration is denied, you will need to request a hearing with an ALJ within 60 days. ALJs are attorneys working for the Social Security Administration's Office of Hearings and Appeals, and statistics show that they grant an average of about 55% of the claims that reach them.
- Appeals Council – If your ALJ hearing was not successful, you can request for the Appeals Council to review it. They will look to see whether or not the ALJ's decision was supported by enough evidence. However, your chance of winning at the Appeals Council is slim. Most people only file a request with the Appeals Council to exhaust every appeal avenue with the SSA before suing them in Federal Court.
Federal Court Review – If you have tried all of the above appeal options, and your claim is still not granted, you can choose to file a lawsuit in a U.S. District Court. Disability cases are heard by federal judges without a jury.
With an experienced SSDI lawyer on your side at the beginning of the appeals process, the odds are very slim that you will ever need to take your case to the Appeals Council or federal court. Many SSDI appeals are granted at the earlier stages with the help of a skilled lawyer.
If you live in Louisville or surrounding counties, Central Kentucky or Southern Indiana and your SSDI claim has been denied, please contact Greg Marks, Social Security Disability Law today to schedule a free, no-obligation claim evaluation and personal consultation.