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How to Appeal a Denied Social Security Disability Claim

Appealing a Social Security Disability Application With the Help of Experienced Tampa SSD attorneys

If you have fallen ill, recently become disabled, or are struggling with a mental illness, you have the right to apply for Social Security Disability. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Social Security Disability claims are denied when completed without the help of Tampa SSD attorneys. Individuals may dutifully supply the paperwork asked of them. Others may even work with a social worker to put their case together.

Despite this, most claims are denied. In fact, the number of applicants who are awarded benefits during their initial claims filing is 28 percent, according to the Social Security Administration’s own statistics. The good news is that many more claims are ultimately accepted after the appeals process. As many as 45% of claims filed between 2001 and 2010 were ultimately approved by the Social Security Administration. Between 3 and 13 percent of applications are awarded at the reconsideration and hearing appeals process. However, if your condition is particularly serious, or if you fear your condition is fatal, your claim may be denied during your initial application. Essentially, a claim must be urgent and severe in order to get approval.

Do Not Delay in Filing Your Appeal

If you receive a denial or fewer benefits than you are entitled to, you must file your appeal to the SSA within 60 days from receipt of your decision letter. You forfeit your right to appeal if you miss this strict deadline and you may have to start the application process over again. We urge you to contact our office as soon as you receive a negative decision so we can advise you of your rights. Your claim evaluation is free, and we do not bill you until we have successfully recovered benefits on your behalf, so there is no risk in learning about your options with the help of our Tampa SSD attorneys.

Our Tampa SSD Attorneys Explains the Social Security Appeals Process

An appeal gives you the opportunity to answer questions posed by the SSA and to submit additional evidence to prove or clarify your claim. Our firm engages in every level of appeal to secure your right to disability benefits. The appeals process can take some time to complete. There are several stages to the appeals process. These stages include:

  • Reconsideration — The first appellate phase, the SSA assigns a new person to review the original application and any new evidence you submit. Your personal appearance before a SSA officer is usually not, but may be, necessary.
  • Administrative law judge hearing — If you disagree with the reconsideration decision, you are entitled to a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. The hearing is conducted at a location within 75 miles of your home or by video to best accommodate your disability. You are permitted to submit new evidence to the administrative law judge to clarify questions about your original application.
  • Appeals Council review — The Appeal Council may make one of three decisions upon receipt of your request for a review: (1) deny the review request because the administrative law judge made the correct decision; (2) make a decision regarding your case after an Appeals Council review; (3) return the case to the administrative law judge for further review.
  • Federal court review — As a last recourse, you can file a lawsuit in the federal district court.

What You Need to Know About Your Social Security Administrative Hearing in Tampa

If you disagree with the reconsideration decision sent to you for your Social Security Disability Benefits, you have the right to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. To request a hearing, your application must first have been denied at the initial and reconsideration levels. When requesting a hearing and when appearing before the judge, it is important to understand that you have the right to hire a Tampa Social Security disability lawyer. You’ll need to file an appeal in a timely manner. In general, individuals have 60 days to make an appeal. Failure to meet the time frame can result in the dismissal of your appeal. Your hearing will be scheduled and usually, the hearing will take place at a location within 75 miles of your house. If you find it difficult to make your hearing, you may be permitted to teleconference in.

So, what do you need to know before your hearing? In general, it is wise to seek qualified legal counsel. A lawyer can review your application, determine if any crucial information is missing, and help you gather together the witnesses and documentation required to make a strong case. Our team of Tampa Social Security disability lawyers have seen other cases before a judge and will know what generally makes a strong case. We can also let you know honestly, whether you meet the criteria for disability.

During the hearing, the judge may ask you questions and may ask to speak to your witnesses. Your lawyer can help you prepare for this line of questioning. A doctor may be present at the hearing to testify on your medical condition and disability. Your lawyer can also ask questions. You may be questioned and your witnesses may be questioned.

The idea of going before a judge can be understandably stressful, but if your case has been wrongly denied, it can mean the difference between getting the benefits you deserve. If your case is approved at the hearing, you may be entitled to receive back benefits as well.

What Can I Do If My Disability Claim Is Denied on a Technically?

There are two ways claims can be denied by Social Security Disability. The first way is through a medical denial. Either the applicant didn’t supply enough medical information or documentation to support a claim, or the reviewer determined that the applicant wasn’t severely disabled enough.

In many cases, applicants can appeal these claims successfully. However, there is another kind of denial. This denial is known as technical denial. Individuals must have earned enough work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability. If you haven’t worked recently or if you haven’t worked enough in the past, you could be denied on this technicality. These kinds of appeals are more difficult.

Yet, if you applied for Social Security Disability and your claim was denied, and then your time ran out, you may have options when it comes to appealing your case. For example, sometimes an individual files a claim and it is denied. The individual may become discouraged or not be aware of his or her right to appeal. Then, when the individual files again at a later time, he or she may be told that he hasn’t worked recently and doesn’t qualify. In this case, a qualified Tampa SSD attorney may be able to help you appeal your case. Your attorney can show the date you initially filed and were denied and use this date rather than the later date you re-applied for SSD.

What Is the Difference Between SSI and SSD? 

SSI is a program for low-income individuals who qualify. With SSI, you may be able to receive money to cover your living expenses, food, and other necessities. SSD is available if you have accumulated the work credits, while SSI is available to any person who is low-income. While SSD will generally offer you more benefits than SSI, SSI can be incredibly helpful if you are disabled, low-income, and have not acquired to work credits to meet the requirements for the other program.

SSI is a need-based program. To be eligible, individuals must have few assets and very low income. If you may inherit money or property in the future, it may need to be put in a trust in order for you to continue to qualify for SSI benefits. If you are unsure about whether you qualify for SSI or SSD, consider speaking to a Tampa social security lawyer today. A Tampa SSD attorney can review your case and help you understand your options going forward.

Fight for Your Right to SSDI or SSI Benefits – Call Our Tampa SSD Attorneys Today

The disabled face many unique challenges. If you’ve been recently disabled, you may have many questions about how you’ll pay rent, medical bills, and for food. Social Security Disability can cover many of these expenses. Unfortunately, the application and appeals process can sometimes be highly complicated. If you are struggling with making a claim or making an appeal, reach out to Mr. Murburg, P.A., a Tampa Social Security disability law firm. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more and to protect your rights.