If you filed a Social Security Disability (SSD) claim and received an unfavorable response, an Aliquippa Social Security lawyer from Berger and Green can help you appeal it and receive the benefits you deserve. The Social Security appeals process can be lengthy and complex. While you are not required to use a lawyer when filing an appeal, having legal representation can help you get the best outcome for your claim. Berger and Green has helped many clients in your area receive benefits.
Whether you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Berger and Green will make sure your appeal is as thorough and compelling as possible. Our job is to make the process as easy as possible for you and to get you the benefits you deserve. We offer a free case evaluation and never collect a fee until you start receiving benefits. To schedule your consultation with an Aliquippa, PA, Social Security Disability (SSD) lawyer, call us at (412) 661-1400 today.
The Social Security Disability Appeals Process
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a specific, multi-step process that applicants must follow when appealing an unfavorable claim decision. Berger and Green helps you through every stage of the process, giving you the best chance of having the SSA’s negative decision reversed to a positive one.
The SSD appeals process is as follows:
Once you receive a denial of benefits, you have 60 days to file a request for reconsideration. The SSA is very strict about its deadlines, so it is a good idea to call a lawyer and get the process started as soon as you receive written notification that your claim was denied.
The reconsideration stage is essentially a review of your initial application. You are allowed to submit any new evidence that can strengthen your claim. A disability examiner will look at your file and determine if the evidence shows that the SSA issued a negative decision in error.
If you get approved at the reconsideration stage, you can begin collecting benefits. But if your reconsideration appeal is denied, you have the opportunity to move on to the hearing stage, if there is sufficient time to do so. This stage is where applicants have the highest chance of success in getting the decision reversed.
The hearing stage involves a live, in-person hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). An ALJ is a judge who specializes in hearing Social Security appeals. You may bring a lawyer with you to your ALJ hearing, and it is a good idea to do so. Typically, the hearing will take place within 75 miles of your house. In certain situations, the SSA may allow you to attend the hearing via videoconference.
No matter if your hearing is in person or via videoconference, it is essential to attend it. Otherwise, the Judge simply makes a decision based on the evidence in your file, which is not much different from the reconsideration stage. At a live hearing, you and your lawyer have the opportunity to make a convincing case to the Judge for why you deserve benefits.
Berger and Green has a strong track record of helping clients win disability claims during the appeals stage. We will prepare extensively for your appeal and will be ready for any questions thrown our way. We will make a compelling case for your benefits.
If you get declined at the hearing stage, you can request a review of your claim by the Appeals Council. However, the Council does not have to review your claim. They can either decline to review it, throw it back to an ALJ for further review, or agree to take another look at it. Only a small percentage of applicants win their appeals at this stage.
The last stage of the appeals process involves taking your claim to federal court. Because of the time and requirements involved, this stage of the process is rarely used.
For a free case evaluation with an Aliquippa, PA, Social Security Disability (SSD) lawyer with Berger and Green, call (412) 661-1400.
Requirements To Qualify for SSD or SSI
No matter what stage of the SSD appeals process you are currently in, your chances of a favorable decision depend on your ability to convince the SSA that you meet the requirements to collect benefits. There are medical and non-medical requirements.
The medical requirements are the same, whether you are applying for SSDI and SSI. Essentially, your disability must be so severe that it keeps you from working. There can be a gray area in which an applicant can work but does not earn over Substantial Gainful Activity limits.
In the process of reviewing your claim, the SSA will look at your most recent job as well as every other job you have had going back 15 years. They will also look at your education and skill set. If they believe there is a job you have done before that you can do again, even with your disability, or that your education and background qualify you for a job that can be done despite your limitations, you will have difficulty winning your appeal.
Berger and Green will help you make the case that your disability prevents you from doing any job you are qualified to do.
Both SSDI and SSI have non-medical requirements. SSDI requires you to have paid a sufficient amount into the system, while SSI limits your income and assets to certain levels. Berger and Green will let you know if you qualify for either or both programs on a non-medical basis.
Unlike the VA, the SSA does not give partial disability benefits. You are either fully disabled or you do not qualify for SSD.
Call Today for a Free Social Security Disability Case Evaluation in Aliquippa, PA
Berger and Green is eager to get to work on your SSD appeal today. We will help you get approved for the benefits you deserve, and you do not pay us until you collect your benefits. For a free case evaluation with an Aliquippa, PA, Social Security Disability (SSD) lawyer, call us at (412) 661-1400.