Was Your Application For Disability Benefits Denied?
If your application for disability benefits was denied, you are not alone. Over half of all initial applications for disability benefits are unsuccessful.* Yet a denial does not mean you are out of luck. If you act quickly and take steps to preserve your rights, you can pursue further opportunities to obtain a favorable outcome.
Confidently Handling Social Security Appeals
At Burgess & Christensen, we understand how discouraging a denial can be. Our goal is to help you succeed despite the setback. As local leaders in the disability law field, our attorneys possess a thorough understanding of the Social Security process.
We are passionate about helping people obtain the benefits they deserve, and we are persistent in pursuing every opportunity for success.
Understanding The Appeals Process
The term “appeal” is often used loosely. It may refer to any of the multiple steps you can take to try to win an approval of your benefits claim.
Our lawyers have extensive experience handling all levels of appeals, including:
- Request for reconsideration: Following a denial, you can request a different examiner in the Social Security Administration to review your file. However, most people do not prevail at this stage. More than 85% of claims continue to be denied at this stage.
- Administrative hearing: A key element of the appeals process is the hearing before an administrative law judge. Many cases that go through the hearing result in approval. There are many judges, however, who continue to deny far more cases than they approve. You should NOT take the hearing lightly. It is your primary — and perhaps last — chance to present a strong case backed by medical records, expert testimony and other compelling evidence. Our attorneys can help you make the most of this important opportunity.
- Social Security Appeals Council: If the administrative law judge denies your request for benefits, you can take your case to the Appeals Council. However, you must have solid legal grounds for challenging the administrative law judge’s determination. You can look to us for guidance on how to proceed.
- Federal district court: The last step of an appeal requires pursuing your claim in federal court. This can be an especially intimidating step. You can rely on our legal team’s skill and experience. Not all law firms offer representation at this level.
Few disability attorneys handle disability benefits past the administrative hearing level. Our firm will fight for you when others would leave you abandoned.
*Source of all statistics: Social Security Administration, Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2012