What Happens If You Are Denied Disability Benefits?

Posted by Daniel Lawrence on January, 2016

It is not promising when you hear that about three quarters of the people who apply for Social Security disability benefits have their initial application denied. The good thing is, anyone who is denied has the right of appeal. Those applicants that honestly believe they have a valid claim often hire disability lawyers in Burlington at this time; they do so because Social Security rules, regulations and laws are difficult for the majority of laypeople to understand. The appeals process consists of a number of stages, the first of which is to make a written request to the Social Security Administration asking for a reconsideration of the original decision. In the greatest majority of cases this appeal falls on deaf ears and the appeal is elevated to a hearing which is held in the presence of an administrative law judge, in the event the denial is upheld the appeal can be elevated again, this time to the Appeals Council and if worse comes to worse, the applicant and his or her lawyer can sue the SSA in federal court.

The initial letter that requests a reversal of the original decision must contain specific information and the reasons why you and your lawyer believe you are deserving of benefits and why the decision to deny is wrong. This is the time when providing additional supporting documents can prove helpful as can an opinion from another specialist as well as the results of any recent tests that have been conducted. The request for reconsideration is not reviewed by the same official that originally denied the application, a different official with no prior knowledge of the case will either approve the appeal or once again, deny the application.

If the first level of appeal fails then your disability lawyers in Burlington will take the case to the nest level which entails putting the case in front of the administrative law judge. It may take several months to get the opportunity to make the appeal but eventually you, your lawyer and the judge meet in person. During this meeting the judge will present questions to you as well as any expert witnesses brought along to support your claim. Just as the judge can question you; you have the right to question the judge. Once the judge has heard the appeal and came to a decision you will be advised by mail as to the outcome.

During this entire process, from initial application through the appeal the applicant can self represent if so desired. It has been proven time and time again that an applicant that is represented by disability lawyers in Burlington has a far better chance of seeing the application finally approved.

Social Security law is very complex and if you’re initial application for benefit is denied you are advised to hire disability lawyers in Burlington. You are invited to contact the Law Office of Elizabeth Patterson and take advantage of a free initial consultation. To know more information, visit ElizabethPattersonLaw.com.