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Submitting Your Appeal for Disability

 Posted on February 14, 2024 in Social Security Disability

Plano disability lawyerWhen you first apply for Social Security disability benefits, there is a good chance your claim may be denied. Nationally, about two-thirds of initial disability claims are denied. If this happens to you, do not give up. You have the right to appeal, and going through the entire appeals process significantly improves your chances of eventually being approved. A Texas disability lawyer can help through the process.

The Reconsideration Process

The first level of appeal after an initial denial is called a Request for Reconsideration. At this stage, a different disability examiner reviews your entire claim and makes a new decision. They take a fresh look at all the documents, medical records, and other evidence you submitted initially when you applied.

While the reconsideration appeal provides another opportunity to get approved, most reconsideration appeals (around 90% nationwide) are still denied again. So, there is a high probability your claim will be sent on to the hearing level of the appeals process.

The Administrative Law Judge Hearing

If your reconsideration appeal is denied, the next step is to appeal again and request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). While you wait for a hearing to be scheduled, ensure you have all the necessary medical documentation in place. Work closely with your doctors to provide updated treatment notes that show how your condition prevents you from working.

The ALJ hearing functions like a court case but is more informal. You have the right to bring counsel if you wish. You will provide testimony about your disabilities and limitations, and a vocational expert may also be called to testify about your ability to work. ALJ approval rates are much higher than initial claim and reconsideration appeal denials. Recent approval rates at U.S. ALJ disability hearings are around 41%.

Appealing an ALJ Denial

If your claim gets denied again at the ALJ level, all is still not lost. You can file additional appeals. There are two more levels as part of Social Security’s administrative appeals process:

Appeals Council and Federal District Court Review

Few claims make it through all these levels of appeals, but those that do ultimately stand a good chance of winning disability benefits. Do not let statistics discourage you from continuing to appeal your disability case. Thoroughly review each denial notice to understand the exact reasons for denying your claim. Then, when appealing to the next level, submit additional evidence and arguments tailored to address those denial rationales.

Contact a Plano, TX Disability Attorney

While the Social Security appeals process can be lengthy and frustrating, persevering through each stage significantly improves your chances of being approved. Do not give up if your initial claim gets denied. Contact a Dallas, TX disability lawyer and use the appeals process to your benefit. Calmly moving through each level while consistently presenting clear and compelling medical evidence arguing for your work limitations gives you an ever-greater possibility of ultimately being awarded the disability benefits you deserve. Call The Law Offices of Coats & Todd at 972-671-9922 for a free case evaluation.

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