According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), only about 21 percent of all initial benefits applications submitted between 2010 and 2019 were accepted, with the vast majority instead being rejected either on technical or medical grounds. If you recently had an SSDI application rejected, you are not alone. To get the benefits you deserve, it is important to work with a knowledgeable Reno SSDI appeals lawyer.
There are multiple stages to this process, with legal and procedural obstacles at each stage that can trip up applicants who appeal without support from a seasoned SSDI attorney. Let our team at Shook & Stone help you with your appeal.
How to Begin the SSDI Appeals Process
The first step in the formal appeals process is making a request for reconsideration. This step applies both to people who have had their initial SSDI claim rejected and to people who have had their benefits terminated based on the outcome of a continuing disability review. The request asks for a completely new look at your original claim by a claims examiner and medical consultant within the Disability Determination Services (DDS) department of the Social Security Administration who were not involved in the decision being appealed.
Applicants who want to make this request can do so either by filling out the SSA’s online form or mailing a completed and printed form to their local Social Security office regarding the SSA decision they wish to appeal within 60 days of receiving notice. An experienced Reno SSDI appeals attorney could help ensure that your petition is free of procedural errors and sent to the appropriate place.
Progressing an Appeal Past the Reconsideration Stage
If the DDS denies a claim at the reconsideration stage, the applicant has 60 days after receiving notice of that decision to petition for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in the SSA’s Office of Hearings Operations. Applicants have an opportunity during an ALJ hearing to present evidence and arguments in their own favor either in person or over a video or phone call.
The next step in the appeals process if the ALJ denies the claim is requesting a review from the SSA’s Appeals Council, either online or by mailing a completed form to the SSA. It is worth noting, though, that the Appeals Council picks cases to review at random and will generally only take action if they find that the ALJ made a substantial error.
If the Appeals Council passes down an unfavorable decision, the final option for an SSDI appeal is filing suit in U.S. District Court. Support from a seasoned SSDI appeals attorney in Reno is important at every stage of the appeals process, but especially for cases that go this far.
Seek Help from a Reno SSDI Appeals Attorney Today
It is an unfortunate fact that the Social Security Administration rejects a great deal more claims for benefits than it accepts. However, that does not mean you should give up after being rejected for SSDI benefits the first time you apply. You still have several options for appealing that decision.
Assistance from a Reno SSDI appeals lawyer could make a world of difference in how efficiently and effectively you can contest your claim denial. Call Shook & Stone today to set up your free consultation.