Denied Your Benefits? Appeal!

People applying for disability benefits for the first time are often turned down initially, but are successful after going through the appeals process. If you receive approval, benefits will be retroactive to the time you first applied. It’s very important to make sure that copies of complete medical information and work history are sent to your local Social Security Office when you apply for benefits. If you are turned down, follow the appeals procedure carefully to insure your application is re-considered. Keep a copy of all forms, letters, or materials submitted to Social Security. Our office will be glad to guide you thru this complex process.

There are three steps to the appeals process:

1. If the initial determination is denied, write requesting a reevaluation. This must be done within 60 days of receiving the notice. We can be sure that you submit additional information depending on the reason for your original denial.
2. If the reconsideration is denied, write requesting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) within 60 days after the date of receiving the notice of the reconsidered determination.
4. If the ALJ decision is negative, write to request review by the Appeals Council within 60 days after the date of receiving the notice of the ALJ’s decision. If the Appeals Court denies the claim, the case can be reviewed in federal court.

You may be represented by an attorney at any step in the proceedings. The attorney representing you charges a 25% percentage of the retroactive benefits as a fee up, to a legal maximum of $6000, and only if they are successful.