Next Steps After Your Social Security Disability Claim is Denied
The majority of Social Security claims are denied the first time for small clerical errors or not submitting enough proof about your disability. However, you have the right to appeal the denial within 60 days. It is important that you seek the assistance of a Social Security Disability attorney and file the appeal within the time allotted. If you do not, you lose your right to appeal and must live with the denial of your benefits.
There are four levels of appeal in the process of attempting to secure Social Security Disability benefits. The first is reconsideration, in which you have the opportunity to present additional information to prove your disability. The documentation at this level typically includes doctor statements or additional medical records. This may be enough to satisfy the charge that you presented insufficient documentation the first time you submitted your application. If not, you can request an administrative hearing.
At an administrative hearing, you have the chance to present your evidence of disability to a judge with the assistance of a Social Security Disability lawyer. Before your trial date arrives, you and your lawyer work together to prepare your testimony to give to the judge. An administrative hearing for Social Security Disability claims is similar to being on trial for other reasons.
The third stage of the appeals process for denied Social Security Disability claims is for you or your attorney to request a review from the Appeals Council. An appeals council judge may reject your claim, return it to the administrative review court or approve it. If your claim is still denied at this stage, your last option is to file a lawsuit in federal district court. At this stage, it is more critical than ever to have an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer working on your behalf.