I applied for Social Security Disability and my claim was denied, but I cannot work. How is that possible? Statistically, far more than half of all SSD claims are denied. Most are denied on the basic issue of whether the claimant’s physical or mental impairments prevent them from working, but some are denied on what a Charlotte social security disability attorney characterizes as a technical denial.
A Charlotte Disability Attorney Explains: What Is a Technical Denial?
To be eligible for SSD, an individual must have sufficient work credits in recent years and not be working or not earn over what Social Security defines as substantial gainful activity, or SGA. If the basis for a technical denial is correct, an appeal will be ineffective. However, if there was a mistake made in the calculations or there was missing documentation, the decision may be appealed by a Charlotte disability attorney.
What About Other Grounds for Denial?
If you meet the basic eligibility requirements for SSD, a denial is likely based on either:
- A finding that your impairments are not severe enough to prevent your from working in jobs you did in the past; or
- Even though your impairments prevent you from performing past work, you can still do other work. A Charlotte Social Security disability attorney can explain that the medical evidence detailing the extent of the claimant’s impairments is almost always the focus of an SSD case.
But I Submitted All My Medical Records the First Time. Should I Just Give Up?
No. It is important to be persistent and appeal a denial of benefits. Eventually, a claimant will have an opportunity to present their case in a way that allows for a detailed explanation of their disability. Unfortunately, the first step in an appeal is reconsideration. If you are not familiar with the intricate details of this process, it will be important to enlist the services of a Charlotte disability attorney.
What Is Reconsideration?
A claimant who is denied on their initial application must first ask for reconsideration. You have 60 days from the initial denial to ask for reconsideration. This is an identical procedure to the initial consideration, and approximately 85 percent are again denied.
A Charlotte Disability Attorney Examines: What Next?
After denial of reconsideration, a claimant may request a hearing before an administrative law judge. Again, there is a 60-day timeframe to do so. Statistically, this is the claimant’s best opportunity to be awarded benefits. The judge in the hearing looks at the case on first impression without any consideration of the previous decisions or the reasons for those decisions. The hearing is like a trial, only less formal.
How Does This Hearing Help Me Explain My Case?
Unlike the initial claim and reconsideration, you get to testify at the hearing. You get the opportunity to explain in your own words how your impairments limit your ability to function both in daily life and perform work functions. You and your attorney will also be permitted to bring witnesses who can testify as to your disability and have the opportunity to cross examine others who testify such as a vocational expert or medical expert the judge has brought in.
Is This Hearing My Last Chance?
Although it may be your best chance, it is not your last chance. A denial by the administrative law judge may be appealed to the Social Security National Appeals Council. This appeal, however, is not a new hearing of the case. The Council will review the record of the administrative hearing and rule on whether it followed proper procedure. It can affirm, reverse or remand back for further action. The last appeal option is a lawsuit in federal court.
Contact a Charlotte Disability Attorney for Legal Advice
The SSD process is complicated and technical. Increase your chances of success with legal representation. Call experienced Charlotte social security disability lawyers at the Bridgman Law Offices at 877-330-4817.