Why Appealing Your SSD Decision is Important
When a person is denied from their SSD or SSI application, a reconsideration request must be filed.
It is very common for people to be denied at both the application and reconsideration level. Do not let this discourage you.
Approval at a hearing in front of an administrative law judge is very possible at this stage. Read on for more information on what you can expect after filing an appeal.
When a claim is denied at the reconsideration level and an appeal is filed, the claim is then transferred to the Office of Hearings Operations, also referred to as OHO. This is where the disability hearing is held in front of a federally appointed Administrative Law Judge (ALJ.)
It is important to know that although ALJs are appointed, they are not technically under the Social Security Administration’s authority. They are independent and neutral, which enables them to make unbiased decisions about Social Security Disability claims.
You do not need an attorney for your Social Security Disability claim; however, this is not the best approach. Statistics clearly show that claimants who are represented by a disability lawyer or non-lawyer representative win their benefits far more often than those who try to oversee matters on their own. This is true at every stage
Why Representation Helps
Having representation helps win SSD (SSDI) and SSI claims because the regulations that govern the Social Security Administration’s disability programs are so complex.
There are also extensive medical records to be collected, questions to answer and deadlines to meet. People often find it overwhelming to manage the process alone.
Having an experienced Social Security Disability attorney represent you at your hearing helps you, the claimant, focus on your health. Keeping doctors’ appointments and maintaining treatment for your disabilities is crucial to your SSD case.
What To Expect at Your Hearing
At the hearing, your attorney will present evidence, take testimony, question the vocational expert and argue your case before the ALJ.
The ALJ will also review your file and analyze your medical and vocational evidence. This includes all the documents from your initial claim, as well as any new evidence. After the hearing, the SSA will send you a letter and a copy of the ALJ’s decision.
Success is very possible at this stage because you can appear before the Judge and tell him or her about your disability in your own words. Having an experienced attorney on your side will help as well.
Getting Help with Your Social Security Disability Benefits
The process for receiving these monthly payments and benefits can take a long time. It is important that you begin the application process early so that you can begin receiving benefits as soon as possible.
If you are considering applying for either SSD or SSI benefits, or have been denied these benefits and need representation, do not delay. Contact an experienced Social Security Disability Attorney. Call the Social Security Disability attorneys at Berger and Green at 412-661-1400 for a free no obligation consultation to discuss your claim.