Contracting a serious illness or sustaining a severe injury can be a life-altering event. It can cause you to lack the physical strength and mental fortitude that you once possessed, exponentially increase the amount of stress in your life, and have a drastically negative effect on your financial circumstances. These effects are only exacerbated by medical conditions that last over a year or are permanent.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are one way to provide your family with financial support while you cope with your health concerns. For anyone who has worked and paid Social Security taxes over the years, SSDI is meant to be a safety net in the event of a profound disability.
Getting SSDI benefits, however, can be a complex and time-consuming matter, since the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not automatically grant all claims for SSDI benefits. However, if you receive an initial denial of benefits or otherwise disagree with SSA’s decision on your claim, you have legal options for recourse. Allow a qualified lawyer to work with you to present evidence in support of your SSDI claim and represent your interests at an Alpharetta SSDI hearing.
Appealing a Denial of SSDI Benefits
Many individuals are denied SSDI benefits when they initially apply for them, often due to insufficient medical evidence, a technical error, or some other incorrect or missing information in their applications. According to the SSA publication entitled “Your Right to Question the Decision Made on Your Claim,” there are four levels of appeal for a denial of SSDI benefits. These are, in the order which an applicant must pursue them:
- Request for reconsideration
- Request for an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing
- Review by Appeals Council
- Federal court lawsuit
Individuals must file an appeal within 60 days of receiving a notice of denial, or they may lose the right to appeal. The SSA presumes that individuals receive denial notices within five days of having mailed them. Individuals can request the first three levels of review in writing or online, but the fourth level of review involves filing a lawsuit to have a U.S. District Court review the denial of SSDI benefits.
Advocating for an Applicant’s Interests at an SSDI Hearing
One level of appeal in which a Social Security lawyer could be particularly helpful is the SSDI hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. This hearing takes place either in person or via video conference before an attorney who has been hired by the SSA to hear appeals related to benefits denials, has no prior information about each individual disability claim, and did not take part in the previous denials of the claim.
An ALJ hearing is a good opportunity to have a disability claim heard, and individuals’ testimony about their own medical conditions can go a long way toward supporting the disability claim. Individuals and their attorneys also can provide new or additional medical information about the disabling condition that is the basis for their disability claim.
Get Professional Legal Help with SSDI Hearings in Alpharetta
When your abilities to support your family and afford necessary medical care are at stake, you may need a skilled disability representative during an Alpharetta SSDI hearing. Do not allow a denial of SSDI benefits to go unchallenged. Call our team today to find out what options are available to you.