A great many applications for SSD/SSI are, at first, denied. As with so many other government procedures, the process is rather cumbersome and requires patience. Having a social security disability appeal lawyer who has experience in handling SSD/SSI claims by your side is invaluable. Not only will Jonathan Bowman’s knowledge and concern help make this stressful situation more comfortable; he will provide you with expert advice to accelerate the process of your disability appeal.
Steps of the SSD/SSI Appeal Process in Nashville, TN
There are four consecutive steps that may be taken to appeal the denial of an SSD/SSI application.
If your original claim or continuing disability claim has been denied, in most states you will have to ask for a reconsideration. This step involves an evaluation by a branch agency in your state, in this case, Tennessee, often referred to as the Disability Determination Services (DDS). DDS is required to have your condition assessed by a medical consultant and examiner who have no previous knowledge of the case. Between 5 and 10 percent of reconsideration claims are granted. In 2013, Tennessee granted 7.9% of reconsiderations.
- Administrative Law Judge Hearing
If your reconsideration request is denied, you have 60 days from the denial letter date to request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Your chance of winning at this level is much greater since approximately 55 percent of individuals bringing their case to an ALJ win their right to receive benefits nationwide. However, there is a great variance in ALJ approvals, with an ALJ possibly only approving 10% of cases and some approving percentages much higher than 55 percent. In fact, in 2013, the ALJ in Nashville awarded 49.3% of their cases.
- Appeals Council
If the ALJ does not grant your claim, you can request a review of your case by the Appeals Council. Unfortunately, the Appeals Council is not required to examine your case at all, except under very special circumstances, and so, in many circumstances, this will be a dead end. The best course of action would be to review your case with a Nashville, Tennessee social security disability appeal attorney to see if filing an appeal would be beneficial.
- Federal Court Review
If your claim has been denied by the ALJ, and either not taken or denied by the Appeals Council, you have to file a lawsuit in U.S. district court. At this point in the process, having a skilled social security disability attorney is, nearly always, non-negotiable. A federal judge will hear your case and you have a reasonable possibility of winning this final appeal. Fewer than 1 percent of claimants take their case to this level, however, since suing the Social Security Administration is time-consuming and extremely costly.
Social Security Disability Appeal Lawyer in Lebanon
As you can undoubtedly see, the process of filing an appeal on your social security disability benefits is a complicated process. This is why it is so important to have a skilled and compassionate social security disability appeal lawyer with whom to discuss your case and clarify your options. If you feel that you have the right to your social security and disability benefits and live in Lebanon, Nashville or anywhere in Wilson County, request a consultation with Jonathan Bowman, an experienced disability appeals attorney.