Social Security disability benefits can be important for Indiana residents who are suffering from an injury, illness or condition that hinders their ability to work. However, getting benefits is not always a simple matter of applying and being approved. Many cases are denied, and an appeal is needed. Understanding the appeals process is essential.
An initial denial is not the final verdict
When a claim has been denied, there are four levels of appeal. They are reconsideration, a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, an Appeals Council and a federal lawsuit. A substantial percentage of cases are denied either in the initial application or at reconsideration. Therefore, a claimant should know when a hearing before a judge unaffiliated with previous decisions will be granted. The hearing can be requested online, by calling the local Social Security office or by visiting the office in person. People who have legal representation can have an attorney submit what is needed for the appeal.
The forms should have the applicant’s personal information, the attorney’s contact information, and the notice stating that the reconsideration request was denied. In addition, Social Security will need completed forms about medical treatment that was recently provided, medications being taken and a form describing the work activity the applicant had done from the beginning of the claim. If there is legal representation, there must be an appointment of representation.
There are many reasons for a Social Security disability claim to be denied. Often, it is simply a clerical mistake, or more information might be needed. Applicants frequently believe the case is over after a denial. However, appeals can be successful, and the benefits might be granted. When requesting a disability hearing or at any other point in the process, having legal advice experienced in Social Security disability claims may be imperative.