If You Are Denied
Often, Social Security Disability cases are denied at the application phase. Information from Social Security indicates that 60-80% of applications are denied. If you are denied Social Security benefits it is extremely important to file an appeal within 60 days of receiving the decision to keep your claim active. If you do not file an appeal within 60 days your claim will be closed and if you continue to be unable to work you will have to file a new claim.
In the state of Pennsylvania it is necessary to file a Request for Hearing. In other states, such as Ohio and West Virginia, you must first file a Request for Reconsideration; this extra step will send your case back for an additional disability determination before you can request a hearing.
The lawyers at Berger and Green can file your Social Security Disability appeal. If you choose to file your appeal without the assistance of an attorney you can do so online or over the phone. To file your appeal online through Social Security’s official website http://www.ssa.gov, follow the link that says “Appeal a Disability Decision.” You may also call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to request a paper appeal or pick one up at your local office.
Two Parts to an Appeal
There are two parts to the appeal. The first part is the Request for Hearing/Reconsideration; the second part is called the Disability Report-Appeal. While both parts are required by the SSA, it is the Request for Hearing/Reconsideration that is most important to file before your 60 day deadline. While not recommended, you may submit the Disability Report-Appeal at a later date; however, you may not submit the Request for Hearing/Reconsideration after your 60 day deadline.
Request for Hearing or Reconsideration
When filing the appeal online, the Request for Hearing/Reconsideration will end once you are given a reentry number. The reentry number allows you to go back and file the Disability Report-Appeal later if you must. It is recommended to print out the screen entitled “Receipt for Request for Hearing/Reconsideration” as well as your reentry number.
To complete the Request for Hearing/Reconsideration you will be asked to provide a reason for filing the appeal. A response as simple as “I am disabled and unable to work” is sufficient. This is not a place for you to list your disabilities or to discuss the unfairness of the decision, no matter how frustrated you are. You do not need to provide information about your Representative at this time. While you may provide your Representative’s information, there are plenty of other opportunities for your Representative to contact the SSA. Do not let not having an attorney stop you from filing your appeal within your 60 day deadline.
Disability Report Appeal
The second part of the appeal, the Disability Report Appeal, may seem daunting at first. Keep in mind, however, that this is not an application. The SSA has records of your disabilities and is only concerned with anything that has happened since you filed your application. For example, if you filed your application on 1/1/2010 and had surgery 3/1/2010, that is relevant to your appeal. In section three, you need to provide any new doctors you are seeing. These are not appointments that you have had since filling out the application, but doctors who are new and were not listed on your initial application. List any new medications and recent testing your doctors have ordered. It is important to be truthful about whether or not you have worked since filling out the application. While it may be tempting to avoid this paper work it is imperative to keep your claim open.
Having an attorney greatly improves your chances of receiving a favorable decision. The Social Security Lawyers at Berger and Green have over 30 years of experience representing the disabled at Social Security Hearings. In preparation for your hearing, the Social Security Lawyers at Berger and Green will gather medical evidence to support your claim and prepare you for your testimony. The attorneys and staff at Berger and Green are here to answer your questions and guide you through the process. At the hearing, your attorney will present evidence, take testimony, question the vocational expert, and argue your case before the Administrative Law Judge. Success is very possible at this stage because you can appear before an independent judge and tell him or her about your disability in your own words.
If your Social Security Disability claim is denied at the hearing you can ask for a review by the Social Security Appeals Council. The Appeals Council may decide to uphold the Administrative Law Judge’s decision or to review the decision at the Appeals Council and pay your claim, or to send the case back to an Administrative Law Judge for another hearing. If you are denied at the Appeals Council you can file a lawsuit in a Federal District Court.
Free Case Evaluation
The attorneys at Berger and Green can answer any questions that you may have about appealing your Social Security Disability Denial. Appealing your denial is critical in your Social Security Disability claim. If you are overwhelmed and need help, call us today at (412) 661-1400 or email us now.
Free case evaluations • NO attorneys’ fees or costs unless we recover a settlement, benefits, or verdict in your case • We can initiate your case by phone or e-mail – CALL today (412) 661-1400 or Contact us online