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  3. Social Security Disability Insurance
  4.  » The Appeals Process

The Appeals Process

The majority of first-time claims to obtain Social Security Disability benefits are unsuccessful. People who attempt to file on their own often make minor mistakes that lead to a denial. Even if all information is accurate, however, the Social Security Administration requires extensive documentation to support your claim, and may not approve your claim even if there are no errors.

That is not the end of the story.

At The Law Offices of Arnold S. Levine, L.P.A., we help first-time applicants file a thorough application that can help to increase the chances of obtaining benefits. We also provide knowledgeable guidance in appeals.

The Appeals Process

There are four appeal stages to applying for SSDI benefits. They are:

  • Reconsideration
  • A hearing before an administrative law judge
  • An Appeals Council review
  • Appeal to federal court

A disability examiner at the Social Security Administration will initially accept or deny your application. If you, like the majority of claimants, do not receive an initial acceptance, your claim will go to the reconsideration stage.

Reconsideration is also done by a disability examiner. However, it will be someone who was not involved in the initial decision. However, in the vast majority of cases, the individual deciding your claim at reconsideration will not overturn the original examiner’s decision.

The Appeals Hearing

Your best chance for obtaining a reversal of your denial is at the hearing. The hearing takes place before an administrative law judge. This is not a court proceeding before a jury, although you will be given the opportunity to present evidence, expert testimony and argue your case. An attorney is invaluable at this stage of the process, since the proceedings are essentially like going to court.

If the administrative law judge denies your claim, your only options are to have the Appeals Council overturn the ALJ’s decision, which only occurs if the judge committed a legal error, or to appeal to federal court, which can be a lengthy and expensive process.

Do You Have A Denied SSD Claim? Contact Us.

We offer free initial consultations, and we do not accept legal fees unless we obtain you benefits. For over 40 years, our lawyers have helped the injured from our downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, office. Call us at 513-823-3257 or tell us about your legal needs online. We represent clients in SSDI claims and appeals throughout Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.