The Social Security Disability Claim Process
Please note that each case is unique and no two cases are ever going to be same. The Social Security Disability claim process will also likely differ for each individual applicant. There are a lucky few who may win their claim on their own, but most will not, thus all the more reason to consider hiring a Social Security Disability Attorney / Advocate to represent you in the matter. This is where we come in, no matter how long or how complicated your case may be, we will be by your side consulting and guiding you through the steps. The following represents the general stages an individual will encounter during the Social Security Disability claim process if they choose to retain us to represent their claim.
- Initial Consultation: Prior to applying or appealing a denied claim, we urge clients to complete a Social Security Disability free evaluation form or call us so that we have a better understanding of your medical and non-medical history. This will allow us to better understand you circumstances, your chances of succeeding, and whether or not we can help. If we believe we can win your claim and you agree to retain us, we will the take preliminary steps to prepare your claim for initial filing.
- Initial Stage: To start your claim, an initial application must be filed, providing all relevant history of your impairment(s) as well as other factors such as employment history and your educational background. Once your claim has been filed, our firm will collect, organize, and submit medical or other non-medical evidence which would substantiate your chances of getting a favorable decision. At this stage, the administration may also request that you be evaluated by one or more independent doctors. Furthermore, throughout this phase, we will regularly follow up with the Social Security Administration in order to facilitate the claim process and provide supplementary evidence if necessary until a decision is made.
- Reconsideration Stage: If we are unable to win your claim at the initial stage, we file an appeal asking them to reconsider your claim. In this stage, the administration will take another look at the prior decision and consider any new medical records which may overturn their prior decision. However, please note that not all jurisdictions have this additional reconsideration stage, thus in those jurisdictions, we apply directly for an administrative hearing instead of a reconsideration.
- Administrative Hearing Stage: If you were denied at initial or reconsideration stage or if the reconsideration stage is not available to you, we will request a hearing on your behalf and will appear before an Administrative Law Judge. At the hearing, you can expect one or more experts to question you and provide their testimony regarding their specialty. Prior to the hearing, our staff will update your medical file, go over what will be covered in the hearing and prepare you to testify. Be mindful that the hearing stage is significant since you will be seen by a judge for the first time and you will be able to tell your situation to him or her. We will also be present at the hearing to advocate your position and ask you questions, if applicable, if we believe something important was not covered and needs to be addressed. Subsequent to the hearing, a written decision will be provided to you and our firm.
- Appeals Council Stage: The Appeals Council was designed to look over adverse decisions made by Administrative Law Judge's at the hearing stage. What they look for are cases which should have been allowed, but were not, simply due to errors made by the Administrative Law Judge. Therefore, if you case is denied at the haring stage, we will take a careful look at the decision and see if any such errors were made. If yes, we will appeal the case to the Appeals Council. Upon our filing, the Appeals Council may (1) affirm he previous decision, thus allowing the denial to stand; (2) reverse the decision thus sending the case back for another hearing, or (3) in rare instances, allow your case without another supplemental hearing.
Hopefully, this page was helpful in answering some of your questions regarding the Social Security Disability claim process.
If you are thinking about applying or appealing a denied claim, you may want to consult with a Social Security Disability Advocate in Glendale who will work tirelessly in representing your interests. Our advocates have decades of combined experience in representing clients before the Social Security Administration. Representing countless number of cases has allowed our firm to understand what is required to ultimately win. Our firm works on a contingency fee meaning we don't get paid until you win. So go ahead, give us a call or fill out the contact form for your free consultation. Let us help you get the benefits you deserve.