Filing for Social Security Disability is one way to secure an income and health benefits if you are disabled and unable to work because of your disability. The application process is simple and only takes about two hours to complete. You’ll have to wait up to six months for a letter in the mail that will either detail your benefit or explain a reason for denial.
If your case is denied, the next step is the appeal process. You’ll need to be prepared with any documentation requested to further review your claim when you begin an appeal and then spend some time waiting for the verdict, again.
Whether you’re appealing a Social Security denial or you’re preparing for an appeal, there are a few things you should know before proceeding with your claim. In this article, we’re discussing the logistics of a Social Security Disability appeal so you can be best prepared for the process and outcome of your own claim. Keep reading to learn more.
How to File a Social Security Disability Appeal
Your denial letter will explain the next steps in your appeal. Each case is unique and the appeal process varies by state. Most states require you to start by filing a Request for Reconsideration.
Request for Reconsideration
A Reconsideration takes place at the Disability Determination Services (DDS) level meaning that any claims examiners or medical consultants that were part of your initial claim have nothing to do with deciding your reconsideration. Only about 5-10% of all Reconsideration claims are approved.
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Hearing
If your Request for Consideration was denied, the next step is to take your claim to an Administrative Law Judge in a formal hearing. This typically happens within 60 days from the receipt of your denial, but it can take longer in some states. Only about 50% of cases that reach this level of appeal are approved.
The appeals council is the final step in the appeal process for a Social Security Disability claim. If your claim is denied by the appeals council, you must file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court asking for a Federal Review of your claim. Not many people are successful in obtaining desirable results at this level but must exhaust all options before proceeding to the Federal Court level.
The best thing you can do for a Social Security Disability appeal is to obtain a qualified attorney to handle the case for you. Your lawyer will know what questions to ask upon resubmitting your case so that your review gets full and prompt attention. Your lawyer will also keep an organized file with dates and documentation proving your disability in the event that evidence is required for your case.
Be mindful that almost all disability case claims are denied the first time so it is likely that you will need to submit an appeal. Depending on the severity of your condition, your disability appeal could very likely be denied a second and third time before your case is eligible for the Appeals Council. Be prepared for a long wait as the disability appeal process can take several years.
If you have a Social Security Disability claim or appeal that you need help with, consider our firm for your legal needs. We take pride in customer satisfaction and client success.