Social Security Disability Appeals Process
An initial denial for Social Security Disability benefits can be disheartening and the appeals process can be intimidating and confusing. The attorneys at Mulligan Epstein are here to assist you in this process.
The first step in a Social Security Disability is a reconsideration claim. The reconsideration consists of a review of the individual’s file. An individual must file the request for reconsideration and a medical official, that was not part of the initial denial, will review the individual’s file and render a decision. In the event of an unsuccessful reconsideration, an individual may petition for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. The individual may present new and supplemental evidence for this hearing, and witnesses and experts can also be present and testify. This process will involve a claim for appeal, that could take up to 24 months with a hearing with the Administrative Law Judge – a disinterested Judicial Official that was not involved in the original decision.
If an individual is unsuccessful at the hearing in front of the Administrative Law Judge, the next step is a review by Appeals Council. The Appeals Council will review the decision of the Administrative Law Judge under an abuse of discretion standard. If this review results in a denial, the final appeal goes to the Federal Court. The claim will be reviewed only for legal errors at this stage of the appeals process. At each step of the appeals process, an individual will receive a written decision that explains why the claim and appeal was denied.
The Social Security appeals process is complex and can be lengthy. It is important to have a competent and effective disability attorney representing you throughout this time. If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits and are considering beginning the appeals process, or have already begun the appeals process, contact the attorneys at Mulligan Epstein today for answers to your questions and competent representation.