Social Security Disability and Appeals

social security disability attorneyYou filed your claim for Social Security Disability Insurance, you waited and you have received a denial.  Now, you need to appeal.  You typically have 60 days.  You might be feeling angry and emotional after reading the denial letter, but do the smart thing.  Go visit or call a disability attorney to appeal.  At this stage, there is usually a 67% rejection rate and an attorney can help you understand the appeal process and can usually help put the odds in your favor.

Social Security Disability – Reconsideration

The first appeal is called “Reconsideration”.  It is all paperwork.  You complete forms, file them (usually electronically) and then you wait, usually about 90-120 days.  You might win, but typically you get another rejection letter.  The national rejection rate at this level is somewhere around 88%.  If that happens, then you have another 60 days to file another appeal.  This appeal is called, “Request for Hearing.”

Social Security Disability – Request for Hearing

With the “Request for Hearing” appeal, you will notice that the forms are similar and probably think to yourself, ‘didn’t we just do this several months ago?’  In this stage, you file the forms, request to see a judge and basically wait.  The wait to see a judge varies by jurisdiction.  It can be from 6-24 months.  You are not required to have a disability attorney with you when you finally get to see the judge, but it is probably not a good idea to go in there alone.  Judges will dismiss around 18% and usually deny 37% of cases.  let’s say that the judge denies your appeal.  You then have another 60 days to appeal a final time.  This time, it is called, “Final Administrative Appeal.”

Social Security Disability – Final Administrative Appeal

In the “Final Administrative Appeal,” you are actually appealing to the Appeals Council.  It can take several months to a year to issue a decision.  Statistically, the Appeals Council, remanded 45% of the cases brought to them in the year 2015.  A remand may be a full remand, essentially ordering an entirely new trial; when the appellate court grants a full remand, the lower court’s decision is “reversed and remanded”.

Of course we recommend you go see a licensed attorney who focuses their practice on social security disability.  Whether you are filing or appealing a claim, having that licensed disability attorney around can take the pressure off of you and dramatically affect the outcome.  Contact Michael Sullivan Law, today.