San Jose SSDI Appeals Attorney
The Social Security Administration denies the majority of initial Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. This does not mean that you cannot get benefits or that your injury is not legitimate. Rather, it means that it will take more time to get your benefits because you must exercise your right to appeal.
Why Was My Initial Claim Denied?
The SSA denies many initial claims based on their view that most people fail to prove that they are “totally disabled” and “unable to be gainfully employed.” This does not mean that they disregard your medical diagnosis; it just means that you did not prove that you meet that legal standard. One of the reasons why you should hire a lawyer is to gather medical records and other evidence to make your SSDI appeal as strong as possible.
The Appeals Process
After an initial claim is denied, the appeals process begins. There are potentially four levels of review that a claim can reach, but the vast majority of our claims are approved well before the final stages.
- Reconsideration: At this stage, we ask the SSA to look at your claim a second time. You must ask for reconsideration within 60 days of your initial claim denial.
- ALJ Hearing: This is the only time you will get to meet face-to-face with someone with the power to accept or reject your claim. Attorney Janice Greening handles all the preparation and presents your case to the Administrative Law Judge. It can be more than a year before the hearing takes place, so it is important to apply for benefits as soon as possible.
- Appeals Council: If the ALJ denies your claim, we will appeal to the Appeals Council in Falls Church, Virginia. This is an entirely written appeal; you do not have to travel to Virginia. We write legal briefs designed to persuade the Council that the ALJ was wrong.
- Federal Court: If the Appeals Council denies your claim, we can appeal your case through the federal court system. Most of the claims we handle are approved without getting this far.