For people who are unable to work due to disability, SSDI benefits can make the difference between being able to pay your bills and plunging into a personal financial crisis. As a result, it can be devastating when your application for benefits is denied. If your application for social security benefits has been denied, a Tampa Social Security disability lawyer can explain your options and help you get the benefits you need.
If Your Claim Has Been Denied, You Have the Right to an Appeal
No matter the basis, every applicant has the right to an appeal if their claim is denied. That said, there are certain requirements that must be met and the process isn’t always easy to follow. As discouraging as it may be, however, it is important to keep moving forward. A Tampa Social Security disability lawyer can help you navigate the appeal process so that you can get the benefits you need.
Request for Reconsideration
The first step in the appeal process is to seek a reconsideration of your denial. The reconsideration is a complete review of your claim performed by a medical consultant and a claim examiner who were not involved in the original decision. The notice that you received concerning your denial will include information about requesting a reconsideration, but a Tampa Social Security disability lawyer can answer any questions that you may have.
Requesting a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge
If your reconsideration is denied, then you can request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). You must file your request within 60 days of the notice that your reconsideration has been denied. You will have the opportunity to be heard and submit new evidence. The good news is that studies show that ALJs approve more than half of the claims that they review. However, this is a critical step in the appeal process and you should therefore take it very seriously. Your best chance of success at this level is to work with a Tampa Social Security disability lawyer.
Review by the Appeals Council
If the ALJ denies your appeal, you can then request that your case be reviewed by the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council can do one of three things in your case:
- Deny your request for review;
- Grant your request for a review and render a decision in your case; or
- Return your case to the ALJ for further consideration.
To be candid, the Appeals Council rarely approves applications – some sources say that they approve less than 1% of claims. Because it is so difficult to succeed at this level, we strongly recommend that you at least discuss your case with a Tampa Social Security disability lawyer.
Your Last Option: Go to Federal Court
Once you have exhausted every other option you may then file a lawsuit in federal court asking that the judge order the SSA to approve your application for disability benefits. Obviously, going to court is very expensive and time-consuming. This is why it is so important to take your ALJ hearing seriously – if you do not succeed at that step, your options quickly become more limited.
Call Tampa Social Security Disability Lawyer Mike Murburg Today
You need to take immediate action if your application for disability benefits has been denied. If you don’t know where to turn, Mike Murburg can help you navigate the appeals process quickly and efficiently so that you can get the benefits you need as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, contact us today at 813-264-5363.