What can I do if I’m denied social security disability benefits?
Let’s say you applied for social security disability and just got a letter in the mail telling you that your claim was denied. What options do you have at this point? Well, you could either accept the denial or you could challenge it by making an appeal. If you choose to appeal, you must do so within 60 days of receiving your denial. You can appeal either by filling out an online form or you can mail a written appeal.
When you first make an appeal, you’re asking for a reconsideration of your original application. At this point, someone who did not initially review your file will look at all the evidence you originally submitted, along with any additional documents you wish to supplement. If upon reconsideration your claim is denied, then you can appeal for a hearing with an administrative law judge.
At a hearing in front of an administrative law judge, you may give additional evidence that was not included in your original application and you may bring witnesses, including medical and vocational experts. After the hearing, you will receive a copy of the judge’s decision in the mail. If your claim is still denied after the hearing, you can continue to appeal, asking for a review by the Social Security’s Appeals Council.
The Appeals Council has discretion over whether or not to take up an appeal, and if it decides to review your case, it can either review your file directly or send your case back to an administrative law judge for further review. If you disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision or the Appeals Council decides not to take up your appeal, you have the option of filing a lawsuit in federal district court.
While a person can handle his or her own Social Security appeals, hiring a lawyer to act as representative can be beneficial in order to obtain all the benefits to which a person may be entitled. Feel free to contact our office at (219) 736-9700 if you have any questions about a potential social security disability claim.