Denver SSDI Appeals
If the Social Security Administration has denied your claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, rest assured, you are not alone. The agency denies a large number of initial claims in Denver. Fortunately, applicants may appeal the denial through four different processes.
Applicants are not required to use an attorney to represent their interests in Denver SSDI appeals, but many elect to do so. Failure to follow proper procedure could provide grounds for a denial. Advice and assistance from an experienced SSDI lawyer could help an applicant ensure that the best available evidence is presented and that it receives full consideration.
The First Stage of an SSDI Appeal
After an applicant has filed a claim for SSDI benefits and received notification that staff members denied the claim, the first stage in the Denver SSDI appeals process is to request a reconsideration. During reconsideration, the application is reviewed by a different agency staff member. An applicant may submit additional information to support the claim on reconsideration.
Applicants must request reconsideration within 60 days of receiving a denial. The agency assumes the applicant receives decisions five days after mailing, meaning that the deadline for requesting a hearing is 65 days after the date on the decision notice.
The Second Stage of the Appeal Process
The second stage of SSDI appeals in Denver is considered by many to be the most important. If the SSA has denied a claim after reconsideration, then the applicant may ask for the case to be heard by an administrative law judge.
The hearing may take place at the SSA Hearing Office in Denver or another location convenient to the applicant. Many SSDI hearings are now conducted via teleconference to speed up the process.
In preparation for the hearing, it is wise to collect as much evidence as possible to support a finding of disability. The agency often denies claims because an applicant failed to provide the right evidence to demonstrate an inability to perform any gainful employment. Statements from medical professionals may also be used to show that a medical condition prevents the applicant from working.
The Final Stages of an SSDI Appeal
If an administrative law judge dismisses a case or denies a claim, the applicant may request that the SSA Appeals Council conduct a review of the decision. Review by the Appeals Council is the third stage in the SSDI appeals process and the final administrative remedy available to SSDI applicants.
The Appeals Council consists of approximately 60 judges who review cases submitted from around the country. The Council may decide not to review a case if they believe the hearing result complied with agency guidelines. If the Council reviews a case, they may issue a decision or remand the case back to the administrative law judge for a new decision.
After exhausting all administrative remedies, if an applicant still has not obtained a satisfactory answer regarding an SSDI claim, the applicant has the option to pursue a claim in federal court. The process differs substantially from the process of initiating an appeal within the agency.
How an Attorney Could Help with the SSDI Appeals Process in Denver
Applicants who take Denver SSDI appeals to court usually seek assistance from an experienced attorney at that time, if they have not done so earlier. Procedures required for success in federal court are complex and difficult to manage without substantial guidance. Consult with an experienced attorney for more insight on SSDI appeals.