What is the appeals process if my Social Security claim is denied?
When you apply for Social Security disability benefits, there is a strong chance that your claim will be denied. In fact, according to the National Organization of Social Security Claimant Representatives (NOSSCR), only about 40 percent of Social Security disability claims are approved at the initial level.
What should you do if your Social Security disability claim is denied to try to make sure you get the compensation you need to make up for lost work?
You should appeal the decision. The first level of appeal is known as reconsideration. A new disability examiner and group of physicians will then review your claim again and reconsider its merits. While your claim may be viewed more favorably by a new disability examiner, the chances are good that it will be denied again as it is being reviewed by the same agency using the same guidelines.
If your claim is denied at the reconsideration level, you can request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. It is important to file your appeal immediately as you only have 60 days from the date of your denial notice to file. Even if that seems like plenty of time to file, consider that the longer you wait to file, the longer it will take to receive a judgment and the longer it will take to receive your any benefits and back pay you may be awarded.
A larger number of cases is are typically approved at the hearing level. However, if your case is again denied by the Administrative Law Judge, you can appeal again to the Appeals Council. If your case is denied at the Appeals Council level, you then have the option to file a civil action in a United States District Court. If you do not have success at the District Court level, you may appeal to a Circuit Court of Appeals, and then finally to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The appeals process for Social Security disability benefits can be complex, and an experienced North Carolina Social Security disability lawyer can help guide you through the process. A lawyer may be able to prepare you for hearing and find ways to strengthen your case to improve the chances of having your claim approved.
Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case and to find out how one of our experienced North Carolina Social Security disability lawyers may be able to help you. Our attorneys are admitted to the United States District Courts for the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Middle District of North Carolina. In addition, the attorney who heads our Social Security department, Rick Fleming, is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Social Security Disability Law and is admitted to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.