Call today for a free consultation

Is this the SSA's final answer? Maybe not

When you become unable to work through some injury or illness, you may turn to the Social Security Administration for help. You may hesitate to file for benefits because you hear from others that the SSA denies most claims. That may be true, but that does not mean that you shouldn't try or that you received the SSA's final answer.

You can ask for a reconsideration of the initial decision. Another individual within the SSA will review your claim and make a determination. If you are fortunate enough to receive a favorable decision at this point, you could consider yourself lucky. Otherwise, you may need to consider filing an appeal.

Time is of the essence

From the day the SSA denies your claim, you have 60 days to request a hearing. The SSA recommends that you assume you have at least five days less than that to account for the time between the decision and your receipt of it. Consider this when deciding to file an appeal. Otherwise, your appeal could be dismissed before you even have a chance to present your argument.

Hearing before an administrative law judge

The first step in that process involves a hearing before an administrative law judge. He or she reviews the evidence of your need for benefits that you previously submitted to support your claim. You have the opportunity to review the evidence currently on file. If you wish to submit additional evidence, you should do so as soon as possible. If you already requested a hearing, the information should go to the administrative law judge in advance of your hearing.

At the hearing, the administrative law judge will often do the following:

  • Outline the issues in your claim
  • Question you
  • Question witnesses you bring
  • Question medical and other professionals aware of your condition
  • Review all evidence
  • Issue a written dismissal or decision
  • Send that document to you

While at the hearing, you may also submit additional evidence and question the witnesses. If you believe that the administrative law judge failed to treat you fairly, a complaint may be in order.

Your right to representation

You can involve an attorney in your appeals process, and you should seriously consider doing so. Of course, you may also consider consulting with an attorney before even filing your claim. In either case, a North Carolina attorney who routinely handles Social Security benefits claims could help ensure that the paperwork gets filled out correctly and that as much of the required evidence as possible gets submitted to increase your chances of receiving much needed benefits.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Charlotte Office
428 East 4th St. Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28202

Toll Free: 877-330-4817
Fax: 704-271-9708
Charlotte Law Office Map

Columbia Office
5111 Trenholm Rd.
Suite 200
Columbia, SC 29206

Toll Free: 877-330-4817
Fax: 704-271-9708
Map & Directions

Atlanta Office
881 Ponce de Leon Ave.
Suite 14
Atlanta, GA 30306

Toll Free: 877-330-4817
Fax: 704-271-9708
Map & Directions

Asheville Office
28 Schenck Parkway
Building 2B
Suite 200
Asheville, NC 28803

Toll Free: 877-330-4817
Fax: 704-271-9708
Map & Directions

Satellite Office
2309 West Cone Blvd.
Suite 150F
Greensboro, NC 27408

Toll Free: 877-330-4817
Fax: 704-271-9708
Map & Directions