Nationwide SSDI Appeals Lawyer

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is stressful. Denials are a routine part of the process, with some local offices denying roughly half of eligible applicants. In fact, nationally, well over half of all applicants are initially denied. Anyone submitting an SSDI claim should be prepared to deal with the appeals process.

Submitting an initial SSDI application can seem straightforward. The applicant—or someone acting on their behalf—fills out the application and submits supporting documentation, which may differ depending on the type of disability. Complicating the appeals process is that people can provide all of the necessary paperwork and supporting information and still get a denial. A nationwide SSDI appeals lawyer can help you determine the following steps to increase your chances of winning an appeal.

Reconsideration in SSDI Appeals

Appealing an SSDI application denial may take several steps. The first one is known as a Request for Reconsideration, where another disability examiner looks at the original application. They can make a new decision based on the evidence.

Sometimes, a reconsideration will result in a different decision, but all of the examiners work with the same guidelines. It is not terribly common for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to make a different decision after a Request for Reconsideration—only about 10 percent of them are approved.

The Role of Administrative Law Judges in SSDI Appeals

If the SSA denies the application after the Request for Reconsideration, an applicant may request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). An ALJ is a decision-maker who specializes in handling decisions for an administrative body and should have a thorough understanding of the laws surrounding SSDI eligibility.

When an applicant goes in front of the ALJ, he or she not only gets to submit their original application and supporting documentation, but also additional medical documentation. A Social Security Disability appeals lawyer can review the materials and help determine why the SSA initially denied the application. In many instances, the lawyer may work with an applicant’s medical team to get continuing information about how and why the condition prevents someone from working.

Proceedings before an ALJ are less formal than traditional courtroom proceedings such as in a criminal case. While applicants do not need an attorney to proceed, he or she should bring counsel. Any time a person has the right to bring an attorney to a proceeding, it is always a good idea to take advantage of that right. An attorney can help an applicant prepare to testify in front of the ALJ, including preparation for likely questions by the SSA’s representative.

Vocational Experts

One of the unique aspects of the ALJ process is that it may involve testimony from a vocational expert. A vocational expert’s job is to examine a person’s disability and determine how that disability would impact an applicant’s ability to do their job and whether he or she is capable of alternative employment.

Generally, an applicant cannot call their medical providers as experts in front of an ALJ. Doctors can provide an opinion about injuries, describe treatment, and describe prognosis. However, unless that doctor is also an expert in disability requirements, they cannot cannot provide testimony regarding whether someone is disabled.

Further SSDI Appeals

If an ALJ decides against an applicant, there are two other potential avenues for appeal—the Appeals Council and Federal District Court Review. These processes can be time-consuming. However, an SSDI appeals attorney who takes cases nationwide can help the applicant review the application and provide a professional opinion about the likelihood of success on the appeal. The attorney will use the SSA’s given reasons for the denial to craft an appeal specifically addressing those reasons.

Contact a Nationwide SSDI Appeals Attorney for Counsel

The SSDI application process can be highly frustrating. It is notoriously difficult to get an application approved and the SSA routinely denies many applications. Anyone seeking benefits must be prepared for a potential appeal.

Working with an attorney can help you avoid some of the pitfalls that can lead to an unjust denial. If you are already dealing with one, a nationwide SSDI appeals lawyer can advise you on the best way to tackle the appellate process. Schedule a free consultation with us today to learn more.

We Won't Take “NO” for an Answer®

To Schedule an Appointment, Call Us Toll Free at 1.877.873.8208 or Email Us for a Prompt Response.

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law