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Appealing Social Security Disability benefits denial

Appealing Social Security Disability benefits is more common than you may think. You have probably heard people say they’ve applied and were denied, sometimes multiple times. It can be a confusing process so you may want to get an attorney involved.

Graphic illustrating social security disability denial and approval.Social Security Disability benefits help people who are physically or mentally limited from working. You can appeal a Social Security Disability benefits denial, but the United States Social Security Administration has strict guidelines on what it considers a disability. To qualify, you must meet this criteria:

  • An individual cannot perform work they could perform prior to the disability.
  • The Social Security Administration decides that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and
  • A disability has lasted or is expected to last at least one year or to result in death.

You should contact an attorney before you begin appealing a benefits denial. Having a qualified attorney will help increase your chances of winning your appeal.

The process includes four stages of appeals. The first is a simple reconsideration by the Social Security Administration. You need to request this within 60 days of your denial of benefits. You can also provide any new information or medical evidence relating to your disability that you may not have had when you first applied.

Denial during the reconsideration stage is not uncommon, and you are not out of appeal options. The next step in appealing a Social Security Disability benefits denial is to request a hearing with an administrative law judge. This request must come within 60 days of the reconsideration decision. During a hearing with an administrative law judge, you can present new evidence alongside witness and medical expert testimony.

If you are denied disability benefits again, you have 60 days to request a review of your case by an appeals council. The appeals council will decide if your case is worth additional review. They can approve you for benefits, refer you to an administrative law judge, or dismiss your case. This appeal step can take up to a year or more.

The last appeal you can make if the appeals council dismisses your case is to file a review from a federal district court. This requires a civil lawsuit filed within 60 days of the appeals council decision. A federal appeal also typically lasts 12 months or longer.

Sound like a complicated process? It’s something you could handle in the early stages if you prefer but an attorney who is familiar with the process can help guide you through it. It can save you time and stress.

If you are appealing a Social Security Disability benefits denial, let Kagan Law help you increase your chances of success. We are committed to providing you with the best service possible. Contact us or call (239) 466-1161 to learn more about your legal options.

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