If you recently got an unfavorable decision from the Social Security Administration (SSA), you may understandably feel upset or discouraged. Don’t give up without trying an appeal — a disability lawyer may be able to help, especially if you didn’t have a lawyer’s help when you started your claim.
You must appeal within 60 days of receiving the denial for Social Security disability benefits. If you wait until more than 60 days have passed, you will need to start again and submit a new application. With a new application, you could lose back benefits you might have gotten otherwise.
The first appeal that you can do is called the “reconsideration.” A disability lawyer can explain the reconsideration phase to you and help with the preparation. If you get another denial after the reconsideration phrase, you will have another 60 days to request a hearing, which is an opportunity for you or your attorney to further present your case to the SSA.
If you decide to proceed without a lawyer’s help, you can submit your appeal in person at your local Social Security office or you can choose to do a telephone or online appeal. If you apply in person at the local SSA office, you should bring your denial letter and remember to get copies of any documents that show the date of your appeal.
You can also appeal over the telephone. If you contact the SSA by phone to start an appeal, you will need to prepare some materials to be sent by mail. Lastly, you can appeal online at the SSA website https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/iAppeals/ap001.jsp. Remember to print your receipt or confirmation page so that you can prove the date of your appeal within the 60-day period.
Social Security disability claimants whose initial applications for disability are denied have 60 days from receipt of denial to file an appeal, and that first appeal is called a Request for Reconsideration.
Reconsideration takes on average about 90 days, and only 15% of reconsideration appeals are granted. However, reconsideration is a necessary step before the hearing level, where 55% of appeals are granted.
At reconsideration a different team of disability examiners will evaluate your claim. The SSA will not make a medical determination at this level. That determination does not occur until after the second appeal and a hearing is held.
Contact the office of disability lawyer, Terrence L. Parker, for guidance today if you want to keep fighting for your Social Security disability benefits but don’t know how to start. The help of an experienced disability lawyer may make all the difference.