Many people in Alpharetta qualify to receive Supplemental Security Income, often referred to as SSI. This program provides income payments to those in need of assistance who are older or who have a disability.
However, before someone can receive income through the SSI program, it is necessary to prove that they meet the qualifications. Very often, individuals receive denials of their application for benefits. This is frequently due to lack of proper documentation rather than lack of eligibility.
In such situations, an Alpharetta SSI denial lawyer may be able to help. There are methods of appealing a denial, and our dedicated SSI disability attorneys who are familiar with the appeals process could help you obtain the benefits you need.
Why Would an SSI Claim Be Denied?
The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) manages the SSI program even though this program is not paid for by Social Security taxes like other SSA benefits. As one of the largest federal agencies in the country, SSA has developed complex procedures for evaluating benefit claims. Even a simple mistake or missing piece of information could result in denial of a claim.
Some common reasons SSI claims in Alpharetta may be denied include:
- Disability is not expected to last long enough
- Documentation of impairment does not meet agency standards
- Communications from SSA are lost or sent to prior address
- Medical records are not released to SSA
- Disability is not covered
- Failure to follow through with prescribed therapy
- Too much income
Some of the reasons for denial may be difficult or impossible to correct. However, in other situations, an Alpharetta SSI denial attorney could assist in overcoming objections to demonstrate why a claimant should be receiving benefits.
What is the Appeals Process?
An applicant has the opportunity to appeal most denials of SSI benefits or change the amount of benefits provided. The agency considers an appeal as a chance to take another look at the circumstances and evidence leading up to a decision. This includes circumstances judged to be in favor of benefits as well as those considered to support the denial of a claim. A dedicated disability representative in Alpharetta can help you appeal and SSI denial.
The first step in appealing an initial decision is to seek a reconsideration of the decision. During reconsideration, a disability examiner reviews claim documents to determine whether the decision of the initial examiner was correct under agency standards.
If a reconsideration results in an unsatisfactory result, the claimant may request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. In the hearing, the applicant may present additional evidence supporting the claim. A judge will evaluate the claim and may apply a more liberal interpretation of agency standards, so the chances of receiving benefits often improve after a hearing.
If the administrative law judge issues an unfavorable ruling, the claimant may seek review from the SSA Appeals Council. The Council will usually not consider additional evidence but will review the judge’s application of the rules to the evidence presented in the hearing. When these appeals fail, an applicant has the option to file an appeal in federal district court.
Contact an Alpharetta SSI Denial Attorney
It may be discouraging to receive notice that your claim for SSI benefits has been denied, but it is important to remember that a denial does not need to be the final answer. On appeal, the decision may well turn to your favor.
However, it is important to ensure that appeal procedures are followed correctly and that you present persuasive evidence to support your claim. An Alpharetta SSI denial lawyer may provide advice and representation throughout the process to help avoid mistakes that could jeopardize your claim. Call now to learn how an experienced disability claims advocate could assist in your situation.