Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) is a federal program supported by employees’ taxes that provides disabled workers a portion of their former monthly income. A person who is no longer able to perform their job or a similar job as a result of a disability may be eligible for benefits.
While filing an SSDI claim may be easy with the help of a skilled SSDI attorney, a considerable number of applicants are denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA) each year for various reasons. This can be frustrating for those who rely on these benefits to maintain their quality of life after an injury. If your claim was denied, a Buckhead SSDI appeals lawyer can provide you with the legal guidance you need to continue pursuing benefits.
Appealing a Claim Denial
There are four distinct types of SSDI appeals that applicants can pursue if their claim is denied. Some of these options are relatively straightforward, while others require court intervention.
For example, reconsideration involves a different SSA employee reviewing a claim, which often results in another denial. If a reconsideration is not successful, claimants may schedule an administrative hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, during which they and their legal representation may present evidence, ask questions, and call witnesses. Most hearings result in an approval, after which a claimant may receive benefits as well as reimbursement for the benefits they could have received after they first became disabled.
Applicants who are unsuccessful with those routes may apply for an SSA Appeals Council Review before a formal council established by the Social Security Administration. Finally, a person who has been denied benefits by this council may request a Federal Court Appeal, which is the most extensive type of SSDI appeal.
Going into a hearing or review unprepared can spell disaster for a disabled individual. Fortunately, a Buckhead SSDI appeals attorney can accompany you through any of these legal avenues.
How Long Do I Have to Appeal an SSDI Denial in Buckhead?
While applicants retain the right to appeal an SSDI denial, the time to do so is limited. There is a firm deadline for filing appeals, and failure to comply could put a disability claim at risk. An applicant typically has 60 days after receiving a denial letter to request a reconsideration.
There is a similar deadline for claimants who intend to request a review by the Appeals Council. To be considered for this level of review, an applicant must file their request with 60 days of receiving the results of their administrative hearing.
The deadline to file a federal lawsuit and dispute the denial of an SSDI claim is also 60 days. This 60-day window begins on the date that the Appeals Council either declines to hear the case or rules against the applicant. A skilled lawyer in Buckhead could help a person meet the SSDI appeals deadline.
Do Benefits Accrue During an SSDI Appeal?
In many cases, the process of an SSDI appeal can be long and drawn out. The good news for most applicants is that back pay is available with a successful claim. This means that a person’s SSDI benefits begin to accrue as soon as they file an initial application. If their appeal is successful, they could be entitled to the benefits they would have received during the course of the appeal.
Common Reasons for a Denial
Applicants seeking SSDI benefits may be denied if they earn too much income, have not been disabled for at least 12 months, refuse to follow orders from a physician or medical professional, or suffer from a drug or alcohol-related disability.
It is imperative for a claimant to see a medical professional and follow their prescribed regimen. Medical documents are arguably the most important element of an SSDI claim, and an applicant who does not present enough medical documentation may be denied.
Those who have not been disabled for at least a year should consider utilizing the short-term disability that their employers may provide. Regardless of the reason for a denial, a seasoned SSDI appeals lawyer in Buckhead can help disabled people pursue the benefits that they need despite the SSA’s decision.
Consult with a Buckhead SSDI Appeals Attorney
Filing for SSDI can be frustrating, especially since your initial claim may be denied by the SSA. Denials are common, but an experienced attorney can help you obtain the benefits you need. Call a Buckhead SSDI appeals lawyer for more information about this process.