As many as 70% of all initial claims get denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The good news is that a denial isn’t the end of the road. You can appeal your claim, but it requires patience, perseverance, and qualified assistance.
Step One: Call a Los Angeles Social Security Disability Lawyer
The first step after receiving a denied claim is to contact a qualified and experienced Los Angeles Social Security disability lawyer. Getting your claim approved after a denial requires building a rock-solid case, gathering evidence to support your claim, and presenting that evidence in such a way that it proves your need for benefits. An experienced lawyer will know just how to do this and can give you your best chance at approval.
Step Two: File a Request for Reconsideration
Next, you will need to submit a request to the SSA for your claim to be reviewed again. Our disability lawyers at the Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour can help you with this and ensure that any mistakes from your original claim are corrected before the reconsideration.
The reconsideration consists of a complete review of the original claim by a different SSA representative. No claims examiner or consultant who took part in your original denial can be part of the reconsideration. About 5%-10% of appeals are approved after initial reconsideration.
Step Three: Request a Hearing in Front of an Administrative Law Judge
If your reconsideration request is also denied, you and your lawyer will need to escalate the appeal by requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge. You have 60 days to file this request. Your administrative law judge is an attorney who works for the SSA Office of Hearings Operations. About 50% of cases that reach this stage receive benefits. It’s incredibly important to have an experienced lawyer on your side who can help you prepare for the hearing and speak to the judge on your behalf.
Step Four: Ask for an Appeals Council Review
If your hearing also results in a denial, you can file a request for the Appeals Council to review your case. They are required to review your case if they find discretionary abuse, an error of law, a lack of evidence to support the hearing’s findings, or a procedural or broad policy issue exists. Only about 2%-3% of cases get benefits after an Appeals Council review.
Step Five: Seek a Federal Court Review
The final step in the appeals process is to seek a federal court review from the U.S. district courts. Keep in mind that it’s rare for a case to get this far. At a district court review, there will be no jury and, in general, only a small number of federal court reviews overturn prior decisions, so it’s important to come prepared and be able to prove your need for benefits.
Need Help With a Denied Disability Claim? Call Dr. Bill!
If you’ve received a denied SSDI or SSI claim and are struggling to understand the appeals process, don’t wait to call The Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour!
Dr. Bill is an experienced Los Angeles disability lawyer who knows the Social Security system. He’s also a licensed psychologist with a unique edge in navigating denied disability claims. Dr. Bill and his team have helped countless disabled individuals in Los Angeles, Colton, Long Beach, and across the Greater Los Angeles area turn their denied claims into approvals.