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By Jim Adler May 25, 2016

Thousands of Americans need help appealing a denied disability claim. After all, up to two-thirds of all initial claims for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are rejected by the Social Security Administration (SSA), often due to technicalities.

An SSDI lawyer with Jim Adler & Associates can help such Americans appeal their denied disability claim. In fact, an estimated 60 per cent of denied claims eventually are granted on appeal, often with help from an experienced SSDI attorney.

Appealing is Your Legal Right

Appealing a denied claim is your legal right. But an appeal of a denied claim involves an elaborate legal process — a process for which you may need to engage a knowledgeable disability lawyer.

Such an SSDI attorney can help you cut through the elaborate red tape imposed on the claim process by the SSA. And that attorney’s fee will be limited and paid through the SSA.

How Appeals Work

Your appeal may begin with a “reconsideration” of your claim. That is done by the SSA — but only by someone who did not take part in the initial decision to deny.

If reconsideration doesn’t help, your SSDI lawyer then can stand up for you in an appeal hearing before an administrative law judge. Such hearings often are the route toward achieving a successful appeal.

Appeals Can be Made in Hearings

Administrative law judge hearings are not held in a courtroom, but rather in an office. They even can be held remotely via a video conference. (In-person hearings must be within 75 miles of your home.)

At the appeal hearing, your disability lawyer may call witnesses such as your doctor or a former employer to substantiate that you are disabled and no longer are able to work — and thus qualify for disability insurance.

Your SSDI lawyer also can speak for you at this hearing, or prepare you in advance to speak for yourself. Such statements can address the SSA’s pre-hearing requests for more evidence, or for clarifications of your claim.

A disability lawyer also determine in what ways your denied claim failed to provide the information demanded by the SSA in the first place, or if your claim wasn’t presented in the correct manner. Such errors may be easily correctable in the appeal process.

In the event that your appeal to an administrative law judge also is denied, you still may appeal your claim’s denial before an Appeals Council of the SSA. That would be the next step, as provided by the SSA.

If that, too, failed to advance your claim, you’d also have the option of filing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in order to appeal. This lawsuit would be against the SSA, and a disability lawyer could file such a lawsuit for you.

When Can You Appeal?

If your disability claim was denied by Social Security, when can you appeal?

First, you should know one crucial thing: You must appeal your denied SSDI claim within 60 days of the date of the SSA’s letter to you indicating your claim was denied.

Changes in residency should not be a factor. Though you may have submitted your disability claim to your local SSA office, you still can appeal a denied disability claim if you moved during the time between filing your claim and appealing a denied claim.

After all, the Social Security Administration and the benefits it provides are federal — thus, nationwide — in scope. You even can have moved to another state between filing your claim and appealing a denied claim.

Withdrawn Benefits Also Can be Appealed

Keep in mind, too, that you may need to appeal when you’ve already received disability benefits but, due to a change in your status, your benefits then are withdrawn or denied. Perhaps the SSA believes you can resume your normal work or believes that your disability no longer is serious enough for SSDI payments.

In such cases, you have the same legal remedies for appealing your denied benefits as do persons who never have received benefits because their initial claim was denied.

For legal help in navigating these waters, contact an experienced SSDI attorney with Jim Adler & Associates. Appealing a denied disability claim can be vital for your financial future, and we stand ready to help.

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