Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is designed to help disabled people who require financial assistance to make ends meet. However, the process of obtaining SSI can be challenging to navigate without qualified legal counsel. Many times, the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies claims for benefits based on an applicant’s failure to provide sufficient evidence.
If you qualify for benefits but still received a denial letter from the SSA, an Atlanta SSI appeals lawyer who is familiar with local appellate procedures can help you demonstrate your eligibility and receive the benefits you are entitled to. Let a diligent legal advocate from our firm help you challenge the agency’s decision to deny your claim.
Understanding a Denial
Those who apply for SSI benefits commonly receive denials for failing to demonstrate that they meet the agency’s standard of disability. However, it is important to note that a denial does not mean that the applicant is actually ineligible to receive benefits.
An Atlanta SSI appeals attorney can help an applicant obtain the right evidence to demonstrate their eligibility for benefits. This may involve retrieving testimonies from expert witnesses about the extent of a claimant’s medical condition or the impact their impairment has on their employability.
Four Stages of Appeals
There are four stages of SSI appeals which must be taken in a certain order. In many cases, applicants only have 60 days after receiving an initial denial to file an appeal, so it is important to remain aware of deadlines and other application requirements.
After the SSA denies a claim for SSI, the applicant may request reconsideration from the agency’s staff members. While the reconsideration will be conducted by different staff members, they are bound by the same interpretative guidelines, so the result is likely to be the same as the initial decision.
If reconsideration yields a second denial, the applicant may continue the appeals process by requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge. This hearing is their last opportunity to present new evidence to support their claim. An SSI appeals lawyer in Atlanta can work to ensure that the best available supportive documentation is prepared and submitted in an effective way.
If the administrative law judge’s decision is not favorable, the claimant can ask the Appeals Council to review their case. However, it is important to note that the Council can only make a decision based on any administrative errors made by the judge. The Appeals Council can affirm the judge’s decision, overturn it, or deny reviewing a claim.
Federal Court Appeal
If an applicant receives a subsequent denial, they may appeal the case in federal court. The decisions of the court will be based on evidence submitted earlier, but the judge may apply the standards differently.
Work with a Knowledgeable Atlanta SSI Appeals Attorney Today
If the SSA denied your claim for Supplemental Security Income, you do not have to accept that as a final answer. An appeal could provide the disability benefits you need.
The sooner you begin working with an Atlanta SSI appeals lawyer, the sooner you can begin gathering and preparing evidence to establish your eligibility for benefits. To learn more about how our team can help, call us today for an initial consultation.