19 Jul Appealing SSDI Denial in South Carolina
If you have begun the process of applying for social security disability benefits, you may already know that less than 27 percent of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims are accepted after the initial application. If your case is denied (and chances are, it will be) you can file an appeal, asking the Social Security Administration to reconsider your claim. The process for appealing SSDI in South Carolina can be lengthy, confusing and exhausting, but working with an experienced disability attorney can help to improve your chances.
The SSDI Appeals Process
If you are denied SSDI benefits, you have sixty days to request an appeal. The process for appealing SSDI denial includes up to four levels of appeal:
- Reconsideration: Your claim will be reviewed by a different case worker than the person that reviewed your initial application. You can submit any new evidence to be considered as part of your claim but will typically not need to appear in person. Another 10-11 percent of applications are approved during this level of appeal.
- A hearing in front of an administrative law judge: If your application was not approved during the reconsideration phase, you can request a hearing in front of a judge. At this point, the Social Security Administration may request more information from you. You can also produce any new evidence that demonstrates your disability. You may bring expert witnesses to testify on your behalf. The judge will consider your entire file, including any new information given at the hearing, and will notify you of the decision by mail sometime after the hearing.
- Review of your case by the Appeals Council: If your application was again denied after your administrative hearing, you can request Social Security Appeals Council to review your case. The Appeals Council will take one of three potential courses of action: (1) deny your request for review; (2) decide your case on its own; or (3) send your file to an administrative law judge for further consideration.
- Federal Court review: If the Appeals Council declines your request for review, or if your claim is subsequently denied, the last course of action is to file a lawsuit in federal court. Most cases will be settled before advancing to this final level of appeal.
With legal representation, more than 95 percent of total claims are eventually approved.
How long will it take to appeal a decision?
The timeline of your case will depend on your individual circumstances and the number of steps you must take for your benefits to be approved. On average, the whole process takes about 11 months, but a lengthier appeal could last one to two years.
Mt. Pleasant SSDI and SSI Disability Attorneys
Whether you are already in the middle of the disability benefits application process or just getting started, it is not too late for a free review of your claims by an experienced disability lawyer. Serving Mt. Pleasant, Charleston and the surrounding areas, the attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC can help you put your best case forward and ensure the entire appeals process runs smoothly.
Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.