Social Security Disability is an umbrella program that includes both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). When a disability prevents you from working to support yourself or your family—or you are disabled with limited income and resources—you might be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.
- SSDI: To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have worked for a qualifying length of time during which you paid Social Security taxes
- SSI: To qualify for SSI, you must demonstrate a financial need
Whether the disability you are living with is temporary or lifelong, disability benefits can help you get the financial support you need. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA) guidelines, you should qualify for SSDI if:
- Your previous employment was in jobs covered by Social Security
- Your current medical condition meets the SSA definition of disability
- You are unable to work for at least a full year due to your disability
You may be able to collect benefits if your condition is not found on SSA’s list of disabling requirements, depending on your residual functional capacity. If you believe you are entitled to Social Security disability benefits, but your application was denied, you are entitled to appeal the decision you received.
Contact the client intake team at Berger and Green by calling (412) 661-1400 to find out how a Pittsburgh denied benefits lawyer can help you fight for the disability benefits you deserve.
How the Social Security Disability Appeals Process Works
You have the right to file an appeal if you do not think your denial was fair or if you think you are eligible to receive more benefits, you can appeal the decision. The appeals process consists of four steps:
- Hearing By an Administrative Law Judge
- Review By the Appeals Council
- Federal Court Review
The appeals process can be complex and time-consuming. It also must follow specific steps in a specified order. Our legal team can help you understand and navigate the claims and appeals process. Your lawyer will try to prove your eligibility for financial compensation.
You can request an appeal online, whether your application was denied for medical or non-medical reasons. Non-medical reasons for denial include:
- Living arrangements
If you request a reconsideration, your claim will be reviewed by an impartial party who was not part of the initial decision-making process.
Hearing By an Administrative Law Judge
You cannot request a hearing by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) until after you have received a decision on your reconsideration request. During the hearing:
- The ALJ will review your case
- The ALJ might ask questions of you and any witnesses
While an ALJ hearing is informal, it is important to have a lawyer represent you. Your lawyer will also submit supporting evidence and question any witnesses.
Review By the Appeals Council
You can request an Appeals Council review if you disagree with the decision of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) or if the ALJ dismissed your request. The Appeals Council will review your request and decide whether to dismiss it. They may also:
- Review your case and reach a decision, or
- Send your case back to an ALJ for further review
If your claim is still denied after an Appeals Council review, you can file a civil lawsuit and request a review of your claim in federal court.
Federal Court Review
If all other appeal options have been exhausted, the final step of the appeals process is filing a civil lawsuit in federal court. You can learn more about the steps involved in the appeal process and how a Pittsburgh denied benefits lawyer can help you prepare a successful appeal by calling Berger and Green at (412) 661-1400 today.
For a free legal consultation with a denied benefits lawyer serving Pittsburgh, call (412) 661-1400
The Benefits of a Social Security Disability Lawyer
During the appeals process, you are entitled to have legal representation. If your claim for compensation is denied, a lawyer can help you file an appeal. When our team advocates to appeal your claim, we will:
- Help you prove your eligibility
- Ensure your application is complete and accurate
- Start the appeals process within the allotted time if there is sufficient time to do so
- Request a hearing date
We can ensure that SSA has the appropriate information about your medical providers. Our team members will also present evidence and question witnesses at your appeals hearing. We understand the importance of receiving benefits when you cannot work or when your income and resources are limited.
Our team believes you should receive benefits if you qualify. We will work closely with you to file a complete and comprehensive appeal with the required documentation.
Ensure Your Initial Claim Contains These Required Documents
When your initial claim is filed, Social Security Administration officials will require the following documents to determine your eligibility for benefits:
- Birth certificate or proof of citizenship or lawful alien status
- Military discharge papers if you served prior to 1968
- Award letters or other proof of other benefits you receive
Our team can help ensure that your claim is complete, that your disability qualifies you for benefits, and that you receive the compensation you are due.
Pittsburgh Denied Benefits Lawyer Near Me (412) 661-1400
Keep Fighting for the Disability Benefits You Deserve
If your application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) was denied, you do not have to give up on receiving the benefits you are entitled to.
Contact us today to learn more about how a Pittsburgh denied benefits lawyer can help you. Contact a Berger and Green team member by calling (412) 661-1400 today.