Social Security Disability | Freedom Disability Advocates & Attorneys
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Appeal Process

Social Security Disability Insurance Appeals Process

The Social Security Disability Insurance Appeals Process

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Appeals Summary: If you have been denied your disability claim, you must appeal within 60 days. You have four appeal opportunities in the following order. Reconsideration Hearing with a Judge Appeals Council Review Federal Court


Social Security Disability Backlog

Social Security Disability Insurance Backlog Reaches an All Time High

Social Security Disability Backlog Summary: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit applications are at an all time high. If you need to appeal your benefit denial to an Administrative Law Judge, the average wait time is 500 days. Our personnel


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The Social Security Disability Insurance Appeals Process

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Appeals

Summary: 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 Freedom Disability as soon as possible at (800) 298-6885 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 Freedom Disability Advocate 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 Freedom Disability Advocate 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 Freedom Disability

Although some people choose to handle their claims alone, we recommend you work with an experienced representative. We can help you win your case sooner, and help you get  the disability benefits you deserve. Our professional Disability Advocates have substantial experience submitting appeals to the Social Security Administration and know which types of evidence and medical records will benefit your claim the most. Call Freedom today at (800) 298-6885 to speak with one of our Disability Advocates. You will receive a free evaluation of your case status and a thorough review of your options.

The foregoing information is based on published materials from the Social Security Administration (“The Appeals Process”). It is meant to serve as an introduction to some of the factors used by the SSA in evaluating cases. It is no way comprehensive. While Freedom Disability can help you prepare an effective application for benefits, only the SSA can determine whether or not you qualify. For more information contact Freedom Disability today at (800) 298-6885.

Social Security Disability Insurance Backlog Reaches an All Time High

Social Security Disability Backlog

Summary: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit applications are at an all time high. If you need to appeal your benefit denial to an Administrative Law Judge, the average wait time is 500 days. Our personnel are trained to identify and successfully navigate qualified disabled persons through the application process with a 90% success rate.

Contact us today for a free evaluation (800) 298-6885.

As members of the “Baby Boom” generation reach their fifties and sixties, the demand for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is quickly approaching an all time high. As noted in a 2008 New York Times article about SSDI benefits the rapid rise in claimants has caused hundreds of thousands of people to wait up to three years for a hearing to determine eligibility for SSDI benefits. Faced with a medical condition which prevents them from working and no SSDI cash benefits claimants face difficult challenges in paying rising medical bills and other expenses.

This backlog in SSA cases, which rose from 311,000 in 2000 to 755,000 in 2008, stems from the relatively low number of Administrative Law Judges compared to the number of claimants submitting disability benefit applications. There are currently 1,025 judges working for the Social Security Administration. The waiting period for appeals is approximately 500 days, up from 258 just eight years ago. The Administration’s plan to tackle this problem is to hire 150 new appellate judges in hopes of decreasing the time claimants spend waiting for a decision.

Unfortunately, even an increase in appeals judges cannot reverse the damage caused to hundreds of claimants who have already suffered due to the lengthy backlog. In hopes of decreasing fraud among claimants, the Social Security Administration uses strict guidelines in determining who is approved for disability (SSDI) benefits. Applicants must not be able to perform ‘any sort of substantial work for at least twelve consecutive months,’ or their illness must be predicted to result in death.

Approximately two thirds of the 2.5 million applications a year are initially turned down. Since these preliminary applications are reviewed at a state level, rarely in a face-to-face interview, many symptoms involving pain or mental illnesses cannot be evaluated and therefore some qualified applicants are rejected. By contacting Freedom Disability Services at (800) 298-6885, you can receive a no cost, no obligation evaluation of your potential eligibility for disability benefits. If you are applying for the first time or appealing a denial, contact Freedom Disability Services as soon as possible and let us assist you in getting approved for the benefits you deserve.

To avoid the burdensome wait for an appeals hearing, it is very important that applicants submit complete and accurate applications. At Freedom Disability Services we specialize in Social Security Disability Insurance applications and appeals. Our Advocates have extensive experience with Social Security claims and can help determine if your condition is likely to result in a successful SSDI application. If you do qualify, we can provide you with the professional assistance that you need to get the benefits that you deserve. If you have previously been denied benefits, but feel your condition makes you eligible, contact us today at (800) 298-6885.

The foregoing information is based on published materials from the Social Security Administration including “Disability Evaluation Under Social Security.” It is meant to serve as an introduction to some of the factors used by the SSA in evaluating cases. It is no way comprehensive. While Freedom Disability Services can help you prepare an effective application for benefits, only the SSA can determine whether or not you qualify. For more information call Freedom today at (800) 298-6885.