Alpert & Fellows, L.L.P.
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Should I appeal a Social Security Disability claim denial?

When a person in Northeast Wisconsin has an illness or injury that he or she believes warrants Social Security Disability benefits, it can be a troublesome time to find out that the claim was denied. Many people are discouraged when they are initially denied and will decide not to take advantage of the multi-layered appeals process that people have available to them when they are seeking SSD benefits. The Social Security Administration wants to make certain that anyone whose issues justifies benefits is approved, so appealing is a wise step.

Understanding the different levels of appeal is key, as is having legal assistance when doing so. With an appeal, the case will be looked at again in its entirety. When there is a mistake and the decision was found to have been wrong, it can be changed and the applicant can get benefits. Regardless of whether the denial was for medical or non-medical reasons, it is possible to ask for an appeal. It must be in writing and the SSA must get it within 60 days from the date at which the denial decision was received.

There are four levels of appeal. They are reconsideration, a hearing by an administrative law judge (ALJ), a review by the Appeals Council, and a Federal Court review. Reconsideration is done by a person who did not play a role in the initial decision. The entire case is re-examined. An applicant can provide new evidence if there is any. If the reconsideration is denied, a hearing before the ALJ can be requested. The ALJ will not have played a role in the previous decisions. The applicant will appear and answer questions from the ALJ. Witnesses can be called to provide more information.

The Appeals Council is not required to hear an appeal when one is requested. If it views the hearing as accurate, it will not hear the case. If it reviews the case, it will either send it back to the ALJ or review it itself. Should the Appeals Council refuse to hear the case or issue a denial, the applicant can file a lawsuit in federal court.

Because applying for SSD benefits can be complicated and sometimes confusing, it is not uncommon for people to make mistakes when filing the application. That could be a reason for the claim to be denied. There might be many other reasons. For people who need benefits, a law firm that is experienced in helping clients appeal claims for denied Social Security Disability can be of assistance.

anchor: Social Security Disability

keywords: Social Security Disability

Source: ssa.gov, "The Appeals Process," accessed on April 16, 2018

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