man worried about disability denial

Steps to Take After Disability Denial

So, you have received a disability denial letter from the Social Security Administration. This can be quite a blow. After the time spent filing the application and awaiting a response on the benefits you may be in desperate need of, a denial can quickly lead to losing hope. Do not lose hope. There are multiple appeals levels you may be able to utilize after your initial application is denied. In fact, there is a significantly greater rate of success at the appeals levels than at the initial application review level when it comes to disability benefit awards. If you are feeling lost after receiving your disability denial notice, here are some concrete steps you can take to continue moving towards the possibility of disability benefits.

Steps to Take After Disability Denial

If you have received your disability denial notice, the next step is to file a request for reconsideration. This is a request that your application is reviewed once more. Reconsideration of your claim will happen through Disability Determination Services by a medical consultant and an examiner, neither of whom were a part of the initial claim decision rendered on your file. Should your claim be denied after reconsideration, you will receive notice of such along with an explanation.

If you are denied after reconsideration, you can request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). To be granted a hearing, you must make your request within 60 days of receiving your denial. The ALJ will listen to testimony at your hearing and will either uphold or overturn the decision to deny benefits.

Even if the ALJ upholds the decision to deny your benefit’s claim, there is still a chance for you to be granted benefits. You can go on to request an Appeals Council review of your case. The Appeals Counsel will randomly select cases for review, but can dismiss a case without review unless it finds that:

  • There has been an abuse of discretion or an error of law in reviewing your claim
  • There is no substantial evidence to support the decision rendered by the ALJ
  • Your case raises a broad policy or procedural issue

The Appeals Council may choose not to review your case or may deny your claim. In either case, you can go on to file a lawsuit in federal court as the final level of appeal options. There will not be a jury, but a judge will hear your disability case and will only review your case for legal errors. Should the district court judge reverse the decision of the ALJ or Appeals Council, they may send your claim back to Social Security, known as “remanding,” for further review based on some specified error or oversight that occurred.

Los Angeles Social Security Disability Attorney

The bottom line is this: an initial disability denial is not the end of things. You have a number of other chances to go on and have your disability claim approved. It can be a tough road to go, but a worthwhile one at that. The team at Disability Advocates is here to help you every step of the way. Contact us today.