How To Appeal Being Denied Disability Benefits

Of all the thousands of applications for Social Security disability benefits about 70 percent are denied by the administration, however, being denied is not the end of it by far, there are three stages at least of appeals. As the rules and regulations that guide the applicant are quite complicated and difficult for the layperson to understand it is easy to see why so many applications don’t make it, those that are denied usually turn immediately to disability lawyers in Missouri to help them through the appeals process. The first level of appeal is to simply write back asking that the application is reconsidered, once again statistics say that nearly 90 percent are denied again. The appeal then escalates to a hearing in front of an administrative judge where about 65 percent of the applications are approved but for those that are not, the lawyer can escalate the case to the Appeals Council and if necessary to Federal Court,

Looking at the denials in more detail:

If the initial application is denied the SSA provide the applicant with a reasonably detailed explanation why the application was denied as well as instructions on how to purse the appeals process. At this stage the SSA gives the applicant 60 days to ask for reconsideration, it is usually during this time that the applicant hires disability lawyers in Missouri to guide and assist with the process.

The reply asking that the application be reconsidered must be very succinct, it should state why the applicant is deserving of benefits and why the decision to deny benefits was wrong and should be overturned. It can be very helpful if at this time all the information that was missing from the initial application is provided. The administrative official that made the decision to deny benefits is not the same person that will reconsider the application; a different person will become involved to guarantee transparency in the decision to either grant the claim or deny it again.

As the greatest majority of requests for reconsideration also end up being denied, the appeals process moves to a hearing in front of an administrative judge. This is the only time that the applicant actually gets to see and hear an official of the SSA, the applicant and his or her lawyer get to sit with the judge and ask questions back and forth. The judge can subject the applicant to any question he wants; the judge can also question any of the expert witnesses that the applicant brought along to support the disabling condition. In about three months the applicant can expect to hear the decision, in the majority of cases the application is granted at this time.

Although a claimant does not have to have a lawyer it has been shown that the success rate is much higher with a lawyer than if you were to go it alone.

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