If you are denied disability on the initial application, we strongly urge that you contact an experienced Social Security Disability attorney to consult with in terms of filing for reconsideration. There are strict time lines which must be adhered to in order to preserve your claim for reconsideration. Generally speaking, an application for reconsideration has to be filed within sixty (60) days of the initial denial. Reconsideration must be done by submitting a written request within the time frame specified. Generally speaking, there are four levels of appeal:
- Reconsideration - this is a complete review of your claim by someone who did not take part in rendering the first decision. Generally, the Social Security Administration will look at all of the evidence submitted when the original decision was made plus any new evidence.
- Appeal of Reconsideration - this second step allows you to request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge who had no part in the original decision or the reconsideration of your case. Generally speaking, a hearing will be scheduled within 75 miles of your home and the Administrative Law Judge will notify you of the time and place of the hearing. Before the hearing you are allowed to submit additional evidence, look at your entire file and correct or clarify any information about your claim. At the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge will ask you and any witnesses questions about your disability and other pertinent areas of your claim including your employment and ability to do tasks required by your job. You have a right to representation at this hearing and we strongly urge that you retain an attorney at the reconsideration stage of the appeals process.
- If you are denied benefits after a Judge’s hearing and decision, you may ask for a review by the Social Security’s Appeals Council. The Appeals Council looks at all requests for review, but may deny a request if they believe the hearing Judge was correct in the first place. If the Appeals Council reviews your case and makes a decision, you will be notified of that decision in writing. In some cases the Appeals Council can return your case to the Administrative Law Judge for further consideration.
- If your decision is denied by the Appeals Council, you have a right to pursue an appeal in the United States District Court.
We strongly recommend that you engage an attorney for any Social Security Appeal and we would be happy to consult with you on any denial of benefits. Please make sure you save all correspondence from the Social Security Administration to bring with you for the initial consultation.