Getting denied benefits is never a good thing. The process is long and difficult enough without being denied the money you deserve at the end of it. Thankfully, though, a denial isn’t really the end. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has set up a social security disability appeal process, so if you have been denied disability benefits, it isn’t automatically the end of the road. However, before you begin your appeal, keep in mind that it doesn’t get any easier from here! So, if you are considering appealing the SSA’s decision, here’s what you need to do next:
1) Hire an attorney.
Seriously, if you haven’t hired legal representation, now is the time to do it. While the initial application for benefits is relatively straightforward and full of paperwork, the appeal is where it starts to get a little sticky, and having an experienced representative on your side can only benefit your case.
2) File for Reconsideration.
In some states, this step has been eliminated. However, in Ohio, the social security disability appeal process starts with the reconsideration step, which basically means someone else looks through your paperwork. Honestly, the verdict at this stage typically mirrors the original decision, since no new information has been submitted yet. If that is the case, then the next step is to …
3) File for an Appeal Hearing.
The next stage is an in-person hearing before a judge, who will review your case. Concise and clearly written documents and briefings are a help here, as it will be up to the judge to review a lot of information in a short amount of time. Often, this is where people who were initially denied might start to finally be approved since they are now afforded the opportunity to state their case in person. If not, however, the next step is …
4) File for Review.
If you are denied by the judge, you can request that an Appeals Council review the judge’s decision. Sometimes, the council will overturn the judge for a number of reasons. However, if that doesn’t work in your favor, you have one final option in the social security disability appeal process, and that is to …
5) File a Lawsuit.
That’s right: you can file an official lawsuit in federal district court. This suit takes the form of a regular trial, with attorneys, witnesses, calls for expert testimony, etc.
Hopefully, you will not have to take your case that far. If you do, however, it’s essential to have representation on your side. Please contact us today. Our team of experts is ready to work with you to get the benefits you are entitled to.