If your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSDI) claim is denied, you have only 60 days to request an appeal. Even if you do not yet have legal representation, you should file your appeal as soon as possible to have the appeal request officially on the record.
Surprisingly, a vast majority of disability claims which are denied at their initial stages are not appealed. Claimants have a tendency to file a new claim, file their appeal too late, or give up on the process entirely. Filing a brand new claim or failing to appeal in a timely manner will result in a loss of appeal rights. This will force you to completely restart your SSI or SSDI application process.
Appealing Has the Highest Rate of Success
It is during the SSDI and SSI appeals process that a claimant has the highest chance of winning their claim. On the other hand, making a new application could potentially hurt your chances. This is because subsequent applications will probably be denied for the same reasons as your first application. However, if you missed your 60-day appeal deadline and did not have a valid reason for doing so, you should talk to a Michigan social security disability appeals lawyer about filing a new claim.
The SSD Appeals Process:
You have 60 days after your claim has been denied to appeal. (An appeal can be filed online.)
There are four different levels in the appeals process:
- Reconsideration - Your files and claim will be reviewed by someone who did not take part in the original review. Typically this can be done without you being present; however, if you are appealing your claim based on the need to prove that you still have a disability, you can meet with a representative in person.
- Hearing - This is an in-person hearing that will usually be held within 75 miles of your home. The administrative law judge will be someone who did not play a role in determining the outcome of your initial claim. You may be asked to provide additional information. You will also be allowed to provide witnesses to testify on your behalf (medical or vocational). Both you and the judge will be allowed to question the witnesses. (This hearing can also take place via video conference if necessary).
- Appeals Council - This is the step that can be taken if you receive a negative ruling during your hearing. During this step, the Appeals Council can choose to review the ruling from the hearing and determine if they believe it was a legitimate ruling. The Appeals Council will then either rule on the decision themselves, dismiss the appeal, or return the case to the original hearing judge and ask them to review it again.
- Federal Court - You may choose to pursue a Federal Court claim if you disagree with the Appeals Council's decision or if the Council chooses not to review your case.
What You Should Do Following a Denial
- Learn why your claim was denied.
- Learn about the pros and cons of hiring a social security disability appeals attorney in Michigan.
- Consider hiring a knowledgeable attorney to help you file an appeal.
- Contact your attorney or the Social Security office and request an appeal.
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