When a Cincinnati resident is injured, ill or suffering from a condition that they believe warrants Social Security disability benefits, it can be worrisome time if the claim is denied. Although the Social Security Administration and its Disability Determination Services are tasked with coming to a fair decision in SSD applications, there are times when an applicant might have been treated unfairly at some point in the process. If there was unfair treatment on the part of the Administrative Law Judge, it is important to understand the necessary steps to lodge a complaint.

The SSA is committed to a fair hearing

People applying for SSD benefits are entitled to a fair hearing regardless of their disability, age, race, gender or for any other reason. While it might be perceived as rare that an ALJ treats a claimant unfairly, it does happen and can be the basis for a complaint. The SSA must be informed if there is a perception of unfairness. This is true whether the claimant is planning to appeal the denied claim or not. There are 180 days in which the complaint can be filed against the ALJ from the time the claimant learned of the misconduct. The SSD appeal and the complaint against an ALJ can be made simultaneously.

The protocol for a complaint against an ALJ

To inform the SSA that the ALJ was behaving in an unfair way, the claimant must provide all his or her relevant information including the name, address, phone number and Social Security number. It is also necessary to tell the SSA who the ALJ was, how he or she treated the applicant unfairly, when it happened, and if there were witnesses. There should be a detailed description of the incident or behaviors and why the claimant believes it negatively impacted the application. Simply believing that the ALJ made a wrong decision is not enough to file a complaint about that individual.

Legal assistance may be essential

With these complex issues, it is wise to understand the legal process and follow it as required. This is true if there is a belief that the ALJ committed a violation or there were other problems with a claim. From the start, it may be crucial to have legal assistance to seek disability benefits. Having experienced advice can help with a case from gathering the evidence and filing the claim to appealing or lodging a complaint of mistreatment. Calling for a consultation is the first step with Social Security disability insurance claims.