In these economically-challenging times, finding your capacity to work and fend for your family taken away by a disability can be one of life’s most cruel blows. The disability itself presents a considerable challenge in terms of the hardship and pain it brings to you and your family, not to mention the sometimes extreme difficulty you might experience trying to adjust to the new situation. It’s only natural that you will want to approach a state agency for compensation to help you rebuild your life. However, your experiences trying to pursue justice may prove to be Kafkaesque with red tape and hurdles to overcome. Although you may think that your disability case is cut-and-dry and you are optimistic that your disability hearing will be positive, the administrative law judge presiding over your disability hearing might take a different view of things. You may be denied which will add to your consternation and adding to your conundrum and troubles.
Despite this, you can take heart in knowing that more than 50% of first-time disability hearings are turned away by the courts. However, the good news is that the chances of your case being successful rise dramatically if you appeal. With no appeal, you will not be considered for compensation.
If your first disability hearing was rejected, don’t throw in the towel just yet. You can still approach the Appeals Council and request that they review your case. They will then send your case to the ALJ for another hearing. If the SSI or SSD claim is denied by the administrative law judge, the judge’s decision can still be overturned in your favor. The Appeal Council is likely to request a remanded hearing, when they find that either a technical error or a more substantive error occurred during the evaluation of medical evidence by the ALJ.
You may also choose to file a completely brand new SSD or SSI disability benefits case if your case is still turned down at the reconsideration appeal level by requesting a new ALJ hearing.
There may be consideration of whether it is more prudent to request a second remanded hearing instead of looking for a new application. Statistics show that there is only a 22% chance of getting a 2nd ALJ hearing. Your disability attorney is not likely to seek a remanded hearing unless it is obvious that the judge committed a glaring error (or maybe even a subtle but significant one).
How long does the Appeal Take
Predicting how long your disability appeal case is going to take may be difficult. These cases do not have deadlines, although the Social Security office may suggest approximately 90-120 days after the initial decision. The special circumstances surrounding each case also vary from one case to another. While some cases may close quickly, others may take considerably longer. The DDS claims examiner could be behind with work and you may have to depend on simple luck of the draw for your case to sail through quickly. Additionally, most states require the filing of a reconsideration request file before the appeal case can commence. All these facts could play against your appeal case and make it difficult to say when it is likely to be complete. Disability attorneys with years of experience can, however, make pretty good estimates, but not more than 120 days is usually the norm.
Hiring a Disability Benefits Attorney
Fortunately, you don’t have to endure the entire emotionally-draining processes involved in trying a successful disability hearing. You can save a lot of time and energy and unnecessary frustration by hiring a competent and professional attorney to handle your disability case for you. An experienced attorney will take care of all the necessary paperwork and documentation required to make your hearing a resounding success. The attorney will do the necessary due diligence to ensure that all the attached evidence is properly evaluated and can withstand the scrutiny of the court.
Steven A. Bagen & Associates is a law firm that specializes in offering legal services to their Gainesville, Ocala and Northeast Florida clients in matters of personal injury claims and related lawsuits. We have a highly qualified and dedicated team of attorneys who clearly understand what it means to be denied disability benefits when you are struggling with your injury or disability. If your first disability hearing was denied and you would like to try again, please call us and we will pull all the strings to ensure your case is successful.