If your application for Social Security disability has been denied, you’re probably wondering what to do next. Visit the Social Security website, and you can read the basics about the appeal process:
- First, you file an appeal, or “reconsideration.” If the reconsideration doesn’t reverse your denial …
- … you can request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). If the judge upholds the denial …
- … you can ask for a review by the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council. And if that doesn’t prove successful …
- … you can take your case to a federal court.
It’s a process that can take several years to complete – in fact, it can take six months before a reconsideration is complete, and another 15 months or more before you’ll be able to have a hearing before an administrative law judge.
Add those to the 60 days you have to file your appeal at each level, and you’re already waiting more than two years for benefits.
Plus, at every stage of the process, you need to follow very specific instructions to ensure you adhere to the regulations and present all the information you can to help support your initial application and refute the denial.
It’s a lot of work, and one slip-up, one error, one missed deadline is all it takes to have your case thrown out entirely.
Why A Skilled SSDI Attorney Is Essential
Working with a skilled SSDI attorney is essential if you want to ensure the appeals process proceeds smoothly.
And while it’s important to begin working with an attorney as soon as possible, it’s also a good idea to make sure you have all the information you’ll need available before that first meeting so your attorney can get “up to speed” as quickly as possible.
Here’s what you should have on hand:
- Your denial letter (and a copy of your initial application, if you have it); knowing the date of the denial letter is critically important since you only have 60 days to file your appeal.
- A list of all your doctors and treatment providers
- A list of the specific conditions you’re being treated for – not simply vague information, but names of the specific conditions.
- A general knowledge of the last 15 years of your work history, which is the time period SSD is concerned with.
- Any other medical or insurance information related to your disability claim and application
Why so much medical information?
Because providing a complete and comprehensive file is the best way to ensure your case is accurately presented.
If an appeal is filed too soon without all the pertinent information included – if you become impatient with the drawn-out process and just want to move forward and be done with exams and assessments – a decision will be rendered that could bring your appeals process to an early and unsatisfactory end.
Once your appeals process is underway, additional information will undoubtedly be needed in order to draft an appeal that’s as complete as possible.
As you can see, the appeals process can be complex and time-consuming.
Working with an experienced SSDI attorney as soon as you learn your application has been denied is the best way to ensure there’s time to gather evidence while adhering to the stringent deadlines set by SSDI regulations.
If your SSDI application has been denied in the Cleveland or Akron Ohio area, don’t delay: Call Attorney Scott Kolligian at (330)253-2227 and schedule your consultation today.
Or, visit his website at: http://www.akrondisabilitylawyer.com/.