Appeals Process

Appealing a Denied SSD Claim in Detroit

Guidance from Expert SSD Appeals Attorneys

For individuals unable to work because of injury or illness, it can be extremely challenging to make ends meet. Often, these conditions can require very expensive medical treatment, meaning that any money that they have set aside for the future can disappear very quickly.

Many of these people will apply for Social Security Disability benefits. To be eligible for these benefits, the individual must submit an application to the Social Security Administration. This is the agency that will examine each application and decide whether or not an individual is disabled, and therefore eligible to receive SSD benefits.

However, it is not uncommon for an initial application for benefits to be denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The agency has very strict requirements in place, and if an individual does not submit the necessary information, the agency will not approve the request, no matter how injured or ill the applicant.

What Can I Do If My Social Security Disability Claim is Denied?

Did you know that the government denies at least 80 percent of all applications for Social Security Disability benefits? That means that the odds of the Social Security Administration approving your claim the first time you submit an application don’t look good.

Therefore, if you received a letter denying your request for benefits, you aren’t alone. Fortunately, the SSA allows you to appeal its decision in writing. However, you only have 60 days from the date you received the denial letter to submit an appeal.

Can I Appeal a Denied SSD Claim More Than Once?

Yes! You do not get just one appeal! The way that the government set up the appeals process, you could go through the following levels of appeal:

  • The SSAreconsiders its denial: The first step of the appeals process is a reconsideration, which means that the applicant can request that the SSA take a second look at an application. The agency will have a new person review the case, and determine if benefits are appropriate. Your claim, in its entirety, gets reviewed by someone other than the person who made the first decision. Under most circumstances, you do not need to make an appearance during the reconsideration process.
  • An administrative law judge schedules a hearing: If you don’t believe that the outcome of the reconsideration was correct, you may request a hearing before an administrative law judge who will then notify you of the place and time of the hearing. At this hearing, applicants will be allowed an opportunity to present their case in person. This can be a very critical step of the process, and often applicants work with an attorney at this stage. You may need to provide additional information prior to or at the hearing. You may bring witnesses as well. After the hearing, you will receive written notification of the judge’s decision.
  • The Appeals Council may review the decision: If you disagree with the decision of the administrative law judge, you may request a review by the Appeals Council. You should know that the council may decide not to review your claim if it believes the decision at the hearing was the correct one. In any case, you do not need to appear before the council, and you receive written notification of its decision.
  • Your claim could end up in federal court: Should you not agree with the Appeals Council, you may turn to the federal courts for help through the filing of a lawsuit.

How Long Do I Have to File an Appeal in My SSD Case?

You only have 60 days to submit a Request for Hearing from the date that is stamped in the upper right hand corner of your denial letter.

If you fail to request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge during that time, then you usually have to start over completely with your claim, though the Social Security Administration does make some exceptions when the applicant can demonstrate “good cause” for missing the 60-day window.

Most other states have what is called a “reconsideration” stage in which you ask the SSD to reconsider your application instead of asking for a hearing; however, Michigan does not have this phase so asking for a hearing is the only option.

Can I Appeal to Have My SSD Benefits Continue?

If you currently receive benefits, you may request that they continue throughout the appeals process. You only have 10 days from the date you received the initial denial letter to make this request. In addition, the SSA may make you repay those benefits should your appeals fail.

Get Help Appealing Your Claim Today!

If you applied for SSD in Detroit and received a denial letter, our firm can help you request a hearing and then help you prepare for the hearing and put your best case forward. We know what judges in southeast Michigan base their decisions on, so we can make sure that you are thoroughly prepared. We can also attend the hearing with you as your advocate, which can be an invaluable service that not all other firms are willing and/or able to do.

Contact Adler Firm, PLLC today to find out how our firm can help you with your SSD appeal.

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