Thursday, July 4, 2013

Appealing Your Social Security Disability Case

If you have been seriously injured, there are probably several moments when you feel a great sense of unfairness at your situation. One area where you should not have to feel this way is in claiming disability benefits. If you have been legally employed as an American worker, you will have paid into the Social Security Trust Fund (through payroll taxes). This fund is intended to be a source of insurance in the event that an individual is no longer physically or mentally able to continue working for at least one year. If this is your situation, it is not only fair for you to claim benefits, it is your legal right. However, there is a huge number of individuals who are initially denied and do not know how to proceed. Your chances of success will be dramatically improved if you seek guidance from an Oklahoma City Social Security disability attorney, but it is still useful to have a basic knowledge of the appeal process.

Levels of Appeal

There are four basic levels of appeal if the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies your case.
        Request for Reconsideration—This is the first and least formal level of appeal. It takes place at the same local SSA office where you originally filed your case, but you will be assigned a new claims examiner and medical consultant. Basically this is an opportunity to gather additional evidence and better present your case.
        Administrative Law Judge Hearing—If your reconsideration is denied as well, the next step is to request a hearing in front of an independent judge. Statistically, you are significantly more likely to be win your case here than at any other level of appeal.
        Appeals Council—if a judge denies you, an Appeals Council that is tasked with reexamining the judge’s reasoning may randomly select your case. Few cases meet the strict criteria required for acceptance by this council.
        Federal Court Review—If you are denied at each previous level and still wish to continue, you have the right to go before a U.S. District Court. 
It is probably becoming clear that this is a particularly thorny area of the law. For most people, the point where it no longer makes sense to keep fighting is not obvious nor do they know how to increase their odds of success at those levels where they do choose to push on. For advice on these critical questions, consider working with an Oklahoma City Social Security disability attorney.

No comments:

Post a Comment