Do I Need a Lawyer to Appeal a Social Security Disability/SSI Benefits Claim Denial?

If you applied for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, do not be surprised if you receive a denial. Why? Because the vast majority of disability benefit claims are initially denied. In fact, roughly 67 percent of initial disability benefit claims are denied, according to the SSA website. Furthermore, requests for reconsideration (the appeal of an initial application denial) are typically denied. In fact, close to 87 percent of reconsideration requests are denied, according to Nolo

If your disability claim is denied, you will need to file an appeal. This is where an experienced and knowledgeable disability benefits lawyer can help. 

Do Not Give Up Hope

If you suffered a serious injury or medical diagnosis that left you disabled, there is a distinct possibility that you may be feeling scared, anxious, and unsure about your future. You have more questions than answers and are concerned about having the necessary funds to pay for your living expenses and medical care. Your stress and anxiety can be exacerbated if your disability benefits claim is denied by the SSA. 

Do not lose hope. There is help available, including our experienced Social Security Disability benefits attorneys. We can help you file your appeal and find ways in which to strengthen your case.

Swift Action is Critical If Your Disability Claim is Denied 

It is extremely important to take swift action if your disability claim is denied. Why? Because you only have 60 days from the date on the denial letter to file an appeal. If you have an experienced Social Security Disability attorney, they can assist you in filing a persuasive appeal in a timely and efficient manner.

Overview of the Social Security Disability Appeals Process

Once you have retained the services of a skilled and reputable Social Security Disability benefits lawyer, here is what to expect during the appeals process: 

  • Request Reconsideration of the Denial – As mentioned earlier, this is the first step in the appeals process. It provides an opportunity to request the SSA have another employee review your application and supporting documentation, in addition to any new evidence and documents.
  • Request a Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge – This is the second appeal. If the SSA denies your application again, your attorney can request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). During the hearing, your disability benefits attorney will have the opportunity to present evidence and call witnesses to testify on your behalf. 
  • Request Appeals Council Review – If the ALJ denies your disability benefits claim, the next step is to pursue an appeals council review of the judge’s unfavorable decision. The appeals council is empowered to deny review of your case, send your claim back to the ALJ for further review and a new hearing, or overturn the judge’s denial and award your benefits.
  • Request Hearing in Federal Court – If the appeals council affirms (or agrees with) the judge’s denial of your benefits, your disability claim can be further appealed to federal court. 

Take Action Today – Contact the Law Offices of Sara J. Frankel & Associates 

Our law firm possesses extensive experience helping clients with their disability claims. As a former staff attorney with the Social Security Administration, Sara J. Frankel knows how the disability benefits system works and knows all the relevant laws and regulations. With more than 25 years of experience handling Social Security disability benefits claims for client from southeastern Massachusetts and northern Rhode Island, Sara can help you determine the next best steps to take in your case.