If you received a denial for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the first step to take is to apply for a request for reconsideration. Doing so means a different examiner will review your claim. You can also submit additional evidence to strengthen your application.
Unfortunately, reconsiderations have low approval rates, so a there is a chance that you will receive a second denial at this stage. However, if your Social Security Disability or SSI claim gets denied on a reconsideration appeal, you still have options to get disability benefits.
After a reconsideration appeal denial, you can move to the next stage of the appeal process. This is a review of your claim in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The odds of denial from an ALJ are much lower than at any other time in the application process.
That said, it is essential to have a thorough, evidence-based claim going into your ALJ hearing. If you repeat the same arguments you made on your initial application or reconsideration appeal, you might not see better results. Instead, you should take advantage of the face-to-face setting by stressing the most compelling parts of your application.
A disability attorney can help you with this process. The team at the Disability Advantage Group, has fought and won many disability hearings with ALJs, helping our clients get the benefits they deserve. We want to put our resources to work for you. We offer free consultations and claim reviews. If you decide to move forward, we will start gathering evidence and building an appeal for you right away. To schedule an appointment, call us at 865-566-0800.
What Is the Difference Between a Reconsideration Appeal and an ALJ Hearing?
A reconsideration appeal, also known as a request for reconsideration, is the first stage in the appeals process. At this stage, you resubmit your application, plus additional evidence or supporting documentation, and send it back to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for a second look.
Just like your initial application, your request for reconsideration goes to a disability examiner. This time, however, it will not be the same person who reviewed your initial claim.
An ALJ hearing is a face-to-face meeting in front of a judge who can approve or deny your claim. Unlike a disability examiner, who must judge your claim based only on the objective evidence in front of them, an ALJ can ask questions and receive clarifications on items in your application. This ability is one of the reasons why claims are often more successful at the ALJ stage.
What Is an ALJ?
ALJs are appointed to federal government positions in which they decide on cases involving statutory law. ALJs who work for the SSA have the power to decide the fate of disability claims.
Like a disability examiner, an ALJ usually will review your entire file before your hearing. They will have the same background information and understand why you are applying for benefits.
At the hearing, you have the opportunity to clarify certain parts of your application, explain any deficiencies, or supply any other information you feel applies to your case.
How Can an Attorney Help Me With My ALJ Hearing?
Like any other case in front of a judge, an ALJ hearing is not something that is easy for an inexperienced person to win on their own. A good disability attorney has fought and won many ALJ hearings for their clients. They can help you build a convincing claim, and they know what to say in front of the judge to best explain why you deserve benefits.
How Can I Set up a Free Consultation With a Disability Appeals Lawyer?
The team at the Disability Advantage Group, has helped clients win disability benefits at all stages of the application and appeals process. We want to help you, too. Call 865-566-0800 for a free consultation.