Social Security Disability Appeal Process

It is during the Social Security Disability appeal process that many applicants actually win their case. The appeal process provides a more personalized forum for presenting the details of your case. During the hearing, you have the opportunity to further clarify the unique circumstances that may not have been evident during a standard application review.

Step 1: Filing a timely appeal through Southeast Disability Advocates

If you have received a letter of denial in response to your application for SSD or SSI benefits, take careful note of the date on that letter. As stated in the letter, you only have 60 days from that date to file your appeal. There is no provision for late filing in the appeal process unless you can establish “Good Cause”, a very high standard. If you miss the deadline for appeal, your only option is to submit a new application, beginning the entire process over again. There is no need to let that happen. Contact us at Southeast Disability Advocates. We will file your appeal for you at no additional charge.

Step 2: Submission of updated medical records

The judge at your disability hearing will want to review your updated medical records prior to the hearing date. At Southeast Disability Advocates, we have found it important to submit these records several weeks prior to the date of your hearing. The judge for your case has many cases to review. Submitting your documents at the earliest point possible shows respect for his time. It also allows him the time necessary for a thorough review. As your representative in the appeal, our disability attorney can request these records and submit them for the judge’s review.

Step 3: The hearing for your Social Security Disability Benefits or SSI appeal

You and your attorney will be expected to attend the appeal hearing. It is very important that you attend this hearing. Failure to attend without a reason acceptable to the judge can result in the cancellation of the hearing. This could mean submitting a new request for a hearing and another waiting period before a hearing time is available for your case.

The hearing is heard by an Administrative Law Judge. The hearing will also be recorded. The judge will often call on witnesses experienced in vocational and medical issues related to your case. You can expect the hearing to last less than an hour. The decision by the judge will be sent to you in the weeks following the hearing.

Step 4: Additional levels of the appeal process

In the event that your appeal hearing results in a denial, there remains two additional levels of appeal. You may appeal the hearing decision to the Appeal Council and ask for a new hearing. If the Appeals Council rejects your request for a review of your case, you may then take your case to the federal court level.

Contact Us For Help

Timeliness and thoroughness are vital to success in an appeal for an SSDI or SSI case. Having an experienced disability attorney from Southeast Disability Advocates as your representative in a disability appeal can provide a significant advantage. Contact us for a free consultation today.