Millions of people rely on the Social Security checks arriving on time. Fortunately, the checks usually arrive when they are supposed to. However, when someone is disabled and needs to apply for Social Security Disability, dealing with Social Security bureaucrats can be a nightmare.
One of the biggest problems people have is with Social Security Disability claims. Many believe that every disability claim is denied when it is received the first time by Social Security. Well, that’s not completely true: they do approve about 30% of disability claims when first received. The flip side is that a whopping 70% of all first-time claims are denied.
A denial of an initial claim doesn’t mean that every appeal will be denied. The critical word is ‘appeal’. Some people believe that all that they need to do is to submit a new claim. That may work occasionally, but usually will accomplish nothing except wasted time. Resubmitting the same paperwork is unlikely to improve the outcome. The rules are complicated, the paperwork must be filled out correctly and it must be backed up by the right medical documentation. The goal is to get past the bureaucrat who sees new applications and put your case in front of a judge.
There are several levels in the appeals process. Alabama is fortunate in that the first review step has been eliminated, saving time. Those dealing with Social Security in Northport and other Alabama communities are able to request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ) within 60 days of the first denial. The judge will review the claim, including any new medical evidence, and ask questions. Many people’s claims are approved at this hearing.
In the event that the judge denies the claim, the third level of appeal it to request a review of the judge’s decision by the Appeals Council. The Council can approve the claim, send the claim back for another hearing before a judge or deny the claim.
The final appeal would take place in Federal District Court after an Appeals Council denial. Very few claims need to go this far.
Lewis, Smyth, Winter, Ford is able to represent clients who need assistance in dealing with Social Security in Northport and Tuscaloosa, AL. The firm is also able to represent clients in Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia and Arkansas. For more information, you can read the full info here.