Social Security Disability (SSDI) claims are denied more often than you may realize. Fortunately, you have the right to file an appeal. It’s important to understand that the process of appealing a denied SSDI claim is highly complex, and you should work with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the process. At Johnson & Biscone, our attorneys have extensive experience handling SSDI appeals, and we’ll make sure your case is handled properly.
Step 1 – Request for Reconsideration
The first step in the process is to request that your denied claim be reviewed again. This reconsideration constitutes an entirely new review of your claim and is handled by examiners and medical consultants who weren’t initially involved in the decision to deny your SSDI claim.
You can initiate your reconsideration appeal by contacting your local field office. This information can be found by visiting the Social Security website and selecting “Find a Social Security Office.” Approximately 5-10% of reconsideration claims are successful.
Step 2 – Administrative Law Judge Hearing
If your reconsideration request is denied, you can continue your appeal by requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). This request must be made within 60 days from the date you receive your denial of your reconsideration request. Roughly 50% of individuals who bring their claims before the ALJ win their appeal and are able to collect SSDI benefits.
Step 3 – Appeals Council
If you’re unsuccessful at your ALJ hearing, you can request of review of your case by the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council can choose to dismiss your case without review unless you can demonstrate one of the following:
- An abuse of discretion by the ALJ
- The evidence doesn’t support the ALJ’s decision
- A procedural issue occurred during the ALJ hearing
Most Appeals Council hearings are unsuccessful. However, this step must be taken in order to pursue a review in federal court.
Step 4 – Federal Court Review
The final recourse available to you is to file a lawsuit in U.S. district court. While federal court review doesn’t reverse prior denials very often, this process results in the case being sent back to the SSA about 50% of the time. While there is a decent chance of winning an appeal after federal court review, it is often a time-consuming and expensive process. For this reason, very few SSDI appeals reach this final stage.
Contact our Oklahoma City SSDI Attorneys
If you need assistance appealing an SSDI claim, please contact Johnson & Biscone using the form on this page or call 405-232-6490 today to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients in the Oklahoma City area.