If your disability claim is denied, most cases have 60 days to appeal the decision. (Social Security’s letter always states what your rights to appeal are.) As long as you feel that you meet Social Security’s requirements for disability, you haven’t returned to work, and you are still receiving medical care, an appeal can offer you a way to continue forward.
Appealing Vs. Reapplying
Unless something substantial has changed in your case, appealing a denial is recommended over reapplying. However, there are situations such as a substantial change in your condition, or a return to work for a substantial amount of time after your claim was denied that may give you reason to reapply instead of appeal.
After a denial from a judge, several factors can help you to decide whether or not it makes sense to appeal that decision or file a new application. This is where it makes sense to discuss your options with an experienced disability benefits attorney so that you can make an informed decision.
Appealing Now Vs. Later
There is no benefit in waiting to appeal. After you received Social Security’s letter of denial, you have a 60-day window to file an appeal. Thus, it makes sense to get it filed as quickly as possible. That 60-day limit is a firm deadline – unless you have good cause for filing late, such as being hospitalized at the time of the denial.
New Evidence & Your Appeal
New evidence is helpful for any appeal, but you don’t have to have new evidence to file an appeal for your case. You are relying on individuals to make these decisions. Having a different set of eyes reviewing a claim may be just what was needed for them to be able to approve it even if there’s no new evidence to provide.
What’s more, other factors may have changed even if your medical evidence is the same. Maybe you applied and were denied when you were 49 but, on your appeal, you’re now 50. At that point, Social Security is going to view your case through a different lens and can approve the claim even if there’s no additional documentation.
On an appeal, you allow yourself more opportunity to explain to Social Security how you fit the definition of disability. This is particularly true when we’re talking about appealing to an Administrative Law Judge where you have an opportunity to go in and speak with him or her about the claim.
The Steps Of The Appeal Process
If your initial application has been denied, you can appeal for reconsideration. In this appeal, you’ll provide additional information about your medical treatment and current medications, and about any changes that may have occurred throughout your claim.
If you’ve been denied twice by Social Security, your next appeal is a request for a hearing in which you’ll have an opportunity to have your case heard by a judge. You are not required to appear at this hearing. Instead, you could simply ask a judge to make a decision based on the documentation in your file without ever having to appear in person. You can also request that a hearing be held. That hearing can be held over the telephone, in person, or via video at home. You don’t have to go into a government building to be able to have your claim heard.
This is an informal hearing. It’s an opportunity to have a conversation about:
- The difficulties that you’re having,
- How you’re impacted by the health issues that you’re dealing with,
- Any inconsistencies in the file, such as things that one doctor may have said that don’t add up with another medical provider’s account,
- Statements made by your doctor that may be taken out of context,
- And more…
Doctors have a habit of writing down some but not all of the information that you are provided when you’re at your doctor’s appointments. Providing a better picture of your overall situation can be an important part of what gets a disability claim approved.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Social Security Disability Law Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy.
For more information on Social Security Disability Law, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling or texting (704) 412-4773 today.