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Understanding the Social Security Disability Appeals Process

Understanding the Social Security Disability Appeals Process

If you have been denied Social Security disability, either SSDI or SSI, do not give up. You have the right to appeal the denial. The Social Security Administration (SSA) rejects many applicants based on their initial application. An application may be denied for a technicality or insufficient information. However, in many cases, an appeal can result in receiving your Social Security disability benefits. It is very important that you do not get discouraged and assume there is nothing you can do when you receive your denial letter from the SSA.

Our New York Social Security disability claims lawyer can help. We handle SSDI and SSI appeals for people throughout New York. The appeal process can be complex, and the process can be overwhelming for individuals who are dealing with a debilitating illness or injury. Our New York Social Security disability claims lawyer handles all requirements for the appeals process so that you can focus on taking care of yourself and your family.

The Four Appeal Levels for Social Security Disability

If you are denied SSI or SSDI, you have four appeal levels available to you to appeal the denial. Each appeal level has unique requirements that can be confusing. Our New York Social Security disability claims lawyer has experience representing clients in each of the four Social Security disability appeal levels.

  • Reconsideration: When you request a reconsideration, another person reviews your entire claim. This person did not take part in the review or consideration of your initial application. During a reconsideration, all original evidence and any additional evidence you submit with your request will be reviewed and considered. In many cases, the reconsideration will be conducted without the need for a personal interview.
    However, if you are appealing a decision based on improved medical condition, you may request a meeting with a Social Security representative to explain why you believe your condition still qualifies as a disability.
  • Hearing by an Administrative Judge: If the reconsideration is denied, you can request a hearing by an administrative judge. You may be asked for additional information before the hearing date. At the hearing, the judge questions you and any witnesses, such as vocational experts or medical providers. You are not required to have an attorney represent you at a hearing; however, it is in your best interests to consult with a New York Social Security disability claims lawyer before proceeding with this level of appeal. An attorney can help you secure witnesses and ensure all evidence is presented to the judge to support your claim for disability benefits.
  • Appeals Council Review: The Social Security Appeals Council conducts the third level of review. Even though you may request a review by the Appeals Council, the council may reject your request if it believes the ruling from the administrative judge was correct. The Appeals Council can take one of three different actions. It may reject an application for review, it may make a determination itself for your disability claim, or it may return the case to the administrative judge for another hearing.
  • Federal Court Review: The fourth level of appeal involves filing a lawsuit in federal court. We strongly urge you to consult with our New York Social Security disability claims lawyer if you have not retained an attorney at this stage in the Social Security appeal process. An attorney can provide the support and guidance you need as you fight for your right to receive Social Security disability benefits.

Contact a New York Social Security Disability Claims Lawyer

If you have been denied Social Security disability benefits, call now to speak with our New York Social Security disability claims lawyer about how we can help you during the appeal process.

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