Many people suffer from a physical or mental disability for some time before finally giving in and applying for social security disability benefits. Too often, much to their surprise, they are denied. If you find yourself in this dilemma, do you know what to do?
The Right to Appeal
Fortunately, the SSA has incorporated a system for appealing denials. You may appeal the initial denial in what is termed the reconsideration, and if denied at that level you may bring your application for benefits before an administrative law judge at a hearing. Appeals beyond the administrative law hearing stage go to the civil court system.
Denials by the Statistics
Initial applications for benefits are typically denied at the 60 percent rate or higher each year. At reconsideration, denial goes even higher to as much as 90 percent. If the applicant persists and makes it to the administrative law hearing, more than half, and as many as 60 percent, prevail. Why the discrepancy?
The Nature of the Administrative Law Hearing
The initial application and reconsideration allow only submission of written paperwork and no opportunity for the applicant to explain the personal nature of his or her disability. Unless you fit one of the classic disability models established by the SSA in its complex rules and regulations, you most often face denial. The hearing before a judge is like a mini-trial where witnesses can be called to establish the evidence of your disability. Friends and co-workers, vocational experts and medical professionals can all be utilized to make your case.
Consider Legal Representation
Retaining a social security lawyer in Santa Ana, especially at the hearing, dramatically increases your chance for success. Your lawyer best understands how to present your case to achieve the best result possible. Don’t go it alone – the outcome is far too important.
For the proper legal help, visit Law Offices of Norman J. Homen.