No one wants to receive a denial of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) does deny many initial applications.
If you received a denial of your application, you still have options. Your first step is to appeal it during a process known as a “request for reconsideration.” If this process fails, you can appeal again. This appeal happens in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). A disability lawyer can help you appeal a Social Security Disability or SSI denial with a disability hearing before an ALJ.
Before you can schedule an ALJ hearing, the SSA must deny your application twice. The upside is that this stage offers a much better chance of approval for many applicants.
Before you request your hearing, however, it is a good idea to speak with a disability attorney. A study from Nolo found that having an attorney doubles an applicant’s chances of getting approved at an ALJ hearing, from 23 to 50 percent. Moreover, lawyers represented applicants at nearly three-quarters ALJ hearings—perhaps explaining the high rate of approvals.
The attorneys at the Disability Advantage Group, focus on disability. We offer free consultations and claim reviews to applicants. Whether you are applying for the first time, are appealing a denial, or want to try your case in front of an ALJ, we can help. Our attorneys have fought and won benefits for many clients. To set up a free, no-risk consultation, call our office today at 865-566-0800.
How Do I Request an ALJ Hearing?
You can request a hearing by sending a letter to the SSA or filling out Form HA-501. This form asks for basic information, including your name, SSN, and claim number. It requests a summary of why you disagree with the disability examiner’s decision and wish to appeal your case in front of a judge. If you have a lawyer or other representative, that person’s name also goes on Form HA-501.
Next is Form SSA-3441. This form is much more detailed. It asks for your medical diagnosis, treatment, medications, and other information related to your claimed disability. It also provides areas to fill out any changes you have experienced in your ability to carry out daily living activities, changes in your work situation, and includes a full page on which you can write additional remarks.
You also must fill out and sign Form SSA-827, which authorizes the ALJ and other SSA representatives to access your private medical records.
Lastly, if you are retaining the services of an attorney, you must fill out Form SSA-1696. With this form, you officially designate your attorney as your personal representative. Both you and your attorney have specific sections you must fill out and sign on this form.
Why Should I Hire a Lawyer to Represent Me at an ALJ Hearing?
You are not required to have a lawyer for an ALJ hearing or any other part of the disability application process. However, working with a good attorney can help make the process easier.
The disability attorneys at the Disability Advantage Group, understand the ALJ hearing process. We can help you prepare for the hearing and gather the evidence you need to prove your claim. We also understand the unique policies and procedures that characterize the SSA. We know how to present a strong case to the ALJ that you meet the SSA’s requirements and qualify for disability benefits.
We represent disability applicants on a no-win-no-fee basis. Our only motivation is winning your claim. Not only is that how you get the benefits you deserve, but it is also how we get paid. We have helped many clients seeking both SSDI and SSI win benefits at ALJ hearings, and we can put our resources to work for you.
How Can I Talk to a Disability Lawyer About My ALJ Hearing?
At the Disability Advantage Group, our team has one goal: helping you get the disability benefits you deserve. Even if your application has received a denial, the process is far from over. We can help you schedule an ALJ hearing and progress to the next stage. If an ALJ already denied your appeal, we can take your case to the next decision-maker in the process. To schedule your free consultation, call 865-566-0800 today.