Social Security denies most initial claims for disability benefits, so if your application has been denied, you're not alone. You also have a right to appeal the denial, and when going through the appeals process, it is a good idea to have an SSDI attorney on your side.
At McGowan & Cecil, LLC, we help Maryland residents make effective initial claims for disability benefits, and we advise and represent applicants throughout the appeals process when benefits have been denied. Here let's briefly discuss how the appeals process works.
The first step after a denial is to request reconsideration. There is a time limit for appealing a denied claim, so you have to act quickly. Contact an SSDI attorney soon after your application is denied.
The reconsideration stage involves a second review of your application. This review is done by someone who did not participate in the first review. The second reviewer will consider all of the materials that were in the initial application, plus any new information provided by you. An SSDI attorney can ensure that all of the relevant information is gathered and effectively presented.
Many applications are denied again after a second reviewer considers them. At this point, you can request that your claim be heard by an Administrative Law Judge, or ALJ. There is a time limit on requesting a hearing, so again you have to act quickly.
ALJ hearings are not supposed to be adversarial, but it is nonetheless important to have an SSDI attorney with you to make the strongest possible case and protect your rights. In this hearing, the judge will hear testimony and consider your medical records. Generally, if a claim for benefits goes before an ALJ, the chance of approval is improved significantly.
To learn more about your options for obtaining the SSDI benefits you need and deserve, please see our appeals process overview.