27 Dec Appeal Process in a Typical Social Security Claim
Marken Law Group, PS has represented hundreds obtain Social Security Disability benefits. We do not charge a fee unless you receive the benefits you deserve. We offer, naturally, free consultations over the phone or in person.
Many clients call our offices after they have been denied either at the initial, reconsideration, hearing level, or appeals council stages. It is important to know where you are in the aspect of your claim and what time restraints you have to appeal and/or seek representation.
The day you initially file a Social Security claim, either on the phone, in person or online, you have a claim pending with Social Security. If denied at the INITIAL level, you will have 60 days from the DATE OF THE LETTER, to appeal for the second level, called RECONSIDERATION.
At reconsideration, a DIFFERENT reviewer will look through your file and make their own independent decision. Often with an initial denial, you will be denied again. If denied a second time, at reconsideration, you will have 60 days from the DATE OF THE LETTER, to appeal to the hearing level.
Once appealed to the hearing level, the real wait begins. You are, absent a dire need request or previously served in the military, placed in the back of the line and will be notified typically 3 months prior to your hearing. Social Security will first ask if you would like a VIDEO TELECONFERENCE HEARING or VTC, which you should object to and sign. This objection must be sent within 10 DAYS. Social Security will much later, send you a letter informing you of the date, time and location of a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. You MUST show up to the hearing.
If you do not show up to the hearing your claim will be dismissed. While Social Security does make an effort to obtain some of your medical records, the responsibility ultimately falls on you, the claimant, to provide Social Security ALL medical records pertaining to the time period at issue.
If you are denied at the hearing level, you will then have 60 DAYS to appeal to the APPEALS COUNCIL. The appeals council generally takes between 12-18 months to issue their decision.
If denied at the APPEALS COUNCIL, you will then have 60 DAYS to appeal to the Federal District Court in which you reside to have the Federal Court review your file to see if the Administrative Law Judge made any errors in your claim.
If you fail to appeal within the 60 DAY window at any level, your claim will be dismissed. You will need to file again and start the ENTIRE process over again.
Generally speaking, and we mean GENERALLY speaking, initial and reconsideration decisions take anywhere from 3-6 months. A hearing wait can take 1-2 years, the appeals council 12-18 months, and finally Federal Court 6-12 months. It could be several years before your claim is finally decided if you decide to appeal all the way up the ladder.
It is important to have representation before the Social Security Administration. Marken Law Group, PS, is here for you and wants to help!
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