Appealing a Denied SSDI Claim
Attorneys representing Norfolk, Newport News, Roanoke & nearby areas of Virginia
Finding out that your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim has been denied does not mean that your case is closed. You still have the option to file for reconsideration or an appeal with the Social Security Administration. However, time is of the essence. You must file your appeal in writing within 60 days of the date you receive your denial letter.
The Social Security Disability lawyers in Virginia at Kalfus & Nachman have been helping disabled individuals win the SSDI benefits they deserve for more than 30 years, and we are here to make sure your rights are fully protected. Appealing your SSDI claim is a complicated process, and it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side every step of the way. Please call (800) 361-0430 as soon as possible to begin building your appeal.
Why Was My SSDI Claim Denied?
The majority of SSDI claims are denied due to insufficient medical evidence demonstrating the severity of your disability. There are several reasons this may occur:
- You did not have documentation from the proper specialists
- Your medical records did not adequately reflect the severity of your condition
- Your doctor did not understand the criteria necessary to ensure your claim gets approved
- The Social Security Administration did not properly interpret your medical evidence
It is rare that the SSA will dispute that you are suffering from a legitimate medical condition. However, they may often dispute whether you meet the legal criteria to qualify as being disabled. Our lawyers will work closely with your health care professionals to make sure that the medical evidence presented on your behalf is as compelling as possible.
The Appeals Process
There are four levels of appeal in an SSDI claim:
- Hearing by an administrative law judge
- Review by the Appeals Council
- Federal court review
Reconsideration is your first stage of appeal. Your claim will be reviewed in its entirety by a Social Security Administration agent who did not participate in the initial decision on your claim. You have the opportunity to present new evidence to the SSA at the time of your initial appeal. Often, the reconsideration appeal can be conducted without you being present.
If you are still dissatisfied with the decision during reconsideration, you may request a hearing with an administrative law judge who has not participated in either the initial decision or the reconsideration. This hearing will generally take place within 75 miles of your home. Your appearance at the hearing will significantly increase your approval of Social Security Disability benefits. Our attorneys will accompany you to the hearing to advocate on your behalf and question any witnesses you bring.
If your hearing does not go as successfully as you would like, you can then request a review with the Social Security Appeals Council. The Appeals Council can decide to:
- Deny your review request
- Agree to review your case
- Return your case to an administrative law judge for additional review
If you disagree with the decision of the Appeals Council or if the council chooses not to review your claim, you can file a lawsuit in a federal district court. This would be the final appeal available to you.
Receiving Benefits During Your Appeal
There are certain instances where you can request to continue receiving SSDI benefits while your appeal is being decided:
- You are appealing a decision to discontinue your benefits due to the fact that your condition no longer qualifies as a disability
- You are appealing a decision to reduce your SSI benefits or to withdraw your eligibility for these benefits altogether
You must notify the Social Security Administration within ten days of receiving their letter that you would like your benefits to continue during your appeal. However, if your appeal is denied, you may be required to pay back the money you received during this time.
Please contact Kalfus & Nachman through the form on this page or call (800) 361-0430 to arrange a free review of your case. Our firm serves clients in Norfolk, Newport News, and Roanoke, VA.