Supplemental Security Income Appeals

If you have been denied your disability claim, you must appeal within 60 days. You have four appeal opportunities in the following order.

  1. Reconsideration
  2. Hearing with a Judge
  3. Appeals Council Review
  4. Federal Court Review

To help you get the benefits you deserve, Freedom Disability encourages all claimants who have been denied in the past to contact us immediately to begin an appeal. At Freedom Disability we are experts in the Social Security Disability appeals process and can help you build a winning case to get you the benefits you deserve.

When Can I Appeal?

In order to appeal your claim, you must submit your request to appeal within 60 days of receiving your letter of denial from the Social Security Administration. Contact Hopping Law Group,PC as soon as possible at (214) 599-2000 or (817) 467-2200 so that we can assist you with your appeal right away. The sooner you begin the process, the sooner you may begin receiving benefits. If it has already been more than 60 days since you received your denial letter please contact us and we can discuss your options.

Process of Appeals

1. Reconsideration

In most areas the first step in the appeals process will be a request for reconsideration. In a reconsideration appeal, your case is reviewed by someone who was not a part of the original decision. All evidence from the initial application is assessed as well as any new information you wish to provide. You usually do not need to be present for the reconsideration of your case. If your request for reconsideration is denied, and we believe that your case has merit, we will file a request for a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).

2. Hearing

At the hearing level, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will have had no previous knowledge of your initial claim or the reconsideration of your case.

Before your hearing, we will work with you to ensure that you have all the necessary documentation to support your case. Your attorneys will appear with you, in person or via teleconference, in front of the ALJ. You have the opportunity to bring any witnesses that you feel will benefit your claim.

The hearing is typically held within 75 miles of your home, or may be done by video if you are unable to attend the hearing in person. A video hearing is usually scheduled much faster and closer to your home, making it more convenient for you and your witnesses.

Although it is highly recommended that you attend your hearing either in person or via video, it is not completely necessary. If you are unable to attend, or do not wish to do so, you must notify the Social Security Administration as soon as possible before the hearing is scheduled with a valid reason. Depending on your situation, the SSA may be able to change your hearing date and location.

At the hearing, the ALJ will question you and any witnesses you bring about your medical condition and how it affects your ability to work. You and your Attorney will also have the opportunity to question your witnesses.

After your hearing, the judge will make his or her decision based upon initial evidence and any new information you have provided. Once the judge has made a decision, a copy will be sent to you in writing.

3. Appeals Council

If your case has been denied at the hearing level, and you disagree with the decision, you may request for your claim to be reviewed by the Social Security’s Appeals Council. The council looks at all the review requests, but also has the power to reject a review if they believe the decision made at the hearing was correct. If the council decides to review your case, they either send the case to a new Administrative Law Judge, or make a decision themselves. Either way you will receive a letter with the decision.

4. Federal Court Review

If you disagree with the decision made by the Appeals Council, or if they refused to review your case, you may file a lawsuit through a federal district court.

Continuing to Receive Benefits During the Appeal

If you were receiving disability benefits, and the Social Security Administration during its periodic review of your case decides that you no longer qualify because they determine that your medical condition is no longer disabling, you may request that your benefits continue if you are appealing their decision. You must make this request within ten days of receiving notice that you are no longer eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

Get Disability Help with Hopping Law Group, PC

Although some people choose to handle their claims alone, we recommend you work with an experienced attorneys. We can help you win your case sooner, and help you get the disability benefits you deserve.


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