In Florida, and elsewhere, if you have had your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim for disability benefits denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA), then you are not forced to accept their decision as final — you are entitled to challenge the decision of the SSA via appeal and follow-through pursuant to the administrative review process. If the SSA confirms their earlier decision, then you may be entitled to appeal their decision in a federal court.
In the SSDI context, the claim appeals process — which includes administrative review and eventual litigation — is full of unexpected challenges. It’s important that you consult with a qualified Tampa SSDI lawyer who has experience effectively navigating through the appeals process and securing benefits on behalf of clients.
Initial Claims Are Often Denied
SSDI claims are frequently denied. In fact, statistics show that nearly a third of all initial SSDI claims are denied by the SSA.
Generally speaking, those who are tasked with evaluating SSDI submissions are incentivized to deny the claim, when they have a possible justification for doing so (even if the justification does not stand up to an advanced analysis). When the SSA denies your SSDI claim, they are hoping that you will simply resign yourself to the result, as-is. Some portion of claimants will accept the denial and move on — even if they have a legitimate claim for benefits.
As such, if you have had your claim for disability benefits denied by the SSA, you should understand that it is not necessarily indicative of the real strength or weakness of your SSDI claim. Pushing forward through the appeal process may lead to an award of benefits — in fact, statistics show that nearly two-thirds of SSDI claims (that were originally denied) are accepted after the second phase of administrative review.
How the Appeals Process Works
When appealing the decision of the SSA, you must begin by challenging the decision through administrative review, which is a three-phase process.
- Administrative Hearing
- Appeals Council
Each phase of the administrative review process is informal and non-adversarial, though to varying degrees. For example, in the administrative hearing phase, a qualified Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will preside over an informal hearing in which you — the claimant — may present relevant evidence supporting your SSDI benefits claim. During this hearing, the ALJ will determine whether there are alternative jobs that you can perform given your disability. If the ALJ determines that you can perform some alternative job, then your claim will fail outright. The guidance of an experienced attorney is highly encouraged.
Finally, if the administrative review process leads to continued denials through all three phases, you may be entitled to file an appeal with a federal court and challenge the decision of the SSA through traditional litigation.
Contact an Experienced Tampa SSDI Lawyer for Guidance on Appealing an Unfavorable Decision
If you have had your SSDI claim denied by the SSA, there’s no reason to fret — in a great many cases, skillful advocacy during the appeals process can help you secure the benefits to which you’re entitled.
Here at the Office of Mike Murburg, P.A., we have provided comprehensive representation to disability claimants (and more specifically, to SSDI claimants) in disputes arising from the denial of legitimate claims. We have extensive experience — and a long track record of success — in helping claimants appeal unfavorable SSA decisions.
Quite simply: we understand how to effectively navigate the appeals process on behalf of our clients.
Call (813) 264-5363 to speak with an experienced Tampa SSDI lawyer here at the Office of Mike Murburg, P.A. Initial consultation is free and confidential. We look forward to helping you secure necessary and adequate benefits.