According to statistics from 2011, less than 40 percent of initial applications for SSDI were approved. Since almost two-thirds of applications for disability are denied, it is worthwhile to explore the appeals process, says a disability attorney in Buffalo. In fact, the rate of approvals climbs significantly when cases are appealed and heard by administrative law judges.
Request for Reconsideration
The first step following a denial of an initial SSDI application is the request for reconsideration. According to a disability lawyer in Buffalo, once the SSA receives the request, it will have a different person evaluate the application a second time.
Request for Review
If the request for reconsideration is also denied, you can file a request for review, according to a disability attorney in Buffalo. At this point in the process, the case file will be forwarded to the office of the Administrative Law Judge.
As a disability attorney in Buffalo will tell you, the ALJ works for the SSA and conducts hearings to review testimony, evidence and other information. The purpose of this hearing is so that the ALJ can decide whether the SSA’s original decision should be overturned or upheld.
The claimant is allowed to bring additional evidence in support of his or her case, says a disability lawyer in Buffalo. In addition, the claimant and witnesses, such as family members, friends and medical experts may testify before the ALJ at the hearing. Individuals who wish to file a request for review often seek the help of a disability attorney in Buffalo.
Appeal before the Appeals Council
The third stage of the appeals process is the filing of an appeal with the SSA’s Appeals Council, according to a disability attorney in Buffalo. Once the Appeals Council receives the request, says a disability attorney in Buffalo, it will either conduct the review or send it to an ALJ for review.
At every stage in the process, the claimant has the opportunity to provide more evidence to support his or her claim. A disability lawyer in Buffalo may be able to help you gather the additional evidence for your case. To speak with a lawyer about your disability case, please call the office of Chris Pashler at 716-874-1739.