The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the federal agency responsible for processing claims for Social Security Disability benefits and paying benefits to qualified recipients. Every year, thousands of people across the United States file claims to the SSA for Social Security Disability benefits, and the vast majority of all of these claims are denied. There are several reasons a claim might be denied, and it can be incredibly frustrating for anyone in need of support from the government to have their claim met with a denial.
If you or a loved one recently filed for Social Security benefits and your claim was denied, it’s natural to be frustrated and distressed by this news. However, you can always refile your claim, fixing any errors that may have led to your initial claim denial. There is no limit to the number of times you can apply for Social Security Disability benefits. Many claimants must file multiple claims until they finally receive appropriate benefits determinations.
If your claim for Social Security benefits is denied, you have the right to appeal the SSA’s decision. Navigating the appeals process is difficult, and you are more likely to succeed with an appeal to the SSA when you have an experienced attorney assisting you. Gade & Parekh, LLP is a team of experienced attorneys who have helped many clients in the Sacramento, CA area navigate the Social Security Disability claims and appeals processes. We can provide the guidance and ongoing support you need to approach your claim or appeal with greater confidence and understanding.
Why Are So Many Social Security Disability Claims Denied?
The claim process for Social Security Disability benefits may seem simple enough at first. However, the reality is that the claim process is tedious, expansive, and requires very careful consideration of all variables in play. Even slight errors result in denials. The SSA denies most of the claims for Disability benefits it receives each year, mostly due to technical or clerical errors. Others are denied because claimants assume their conditions are covered disabilities when they are not.
The SSA works with a wide network of Disability Determination Services (DDSs). These state-level agencies assign disability examiners to review every claim for Social Security Disability benefits filed in their jurisdictions. For example, if you are filing for disability benefits in the Sacramento office, a local DDS will conduct the examination of your claim and submit their review to the local SSA field office. The disability examiner assigned to your claim is responsible for reviewing your claim forms and supporting documents, determining whether you have a qualifying condition or disability, and assessing whether you possess any residual functional capacity that would enable you to work and earn income.
It’s easy to feel distressed and panicked when your initial Social Security Disability benefits claim has been denied. Still, you do have the ability to appeal this decision and request a reconsideration of your claim. The three-tiered appeal process is time-consuming, complicated, and requires meeting very strict requirements, so it’s best to have an experienced attorney assist you with your appeal.
How Does a Social Security Disability Claim Appeal Work?
After a claim for Social Security Disability benefits has been denied, the claimant has the chance to request a reconsideration of their claim. The SSA will review the claimant’s claim forms and all submitted documentation. This part of the review and appeal process is where most of the clerical and administrative errors that lead to claim denials come to light. The reconsideration process also enables the claimant to submit any new medical evidence they may have to support their claim.
While some claimants may see positive results from the reconsideration process, others are met with further denials, and their appeal processes escalate to the hearing stage. If you failed to secure approval through reconsideration, an experienced attorney can help you prepare for the hearing process. During this hearing, you will appear before an Administrative Law Judge who makes a final determination on your appeal. You will need to prove your disability and make a compelling case as to why you should be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. This hearing can be daunting for anyone who does not have experienced legal counsel advising them. Your attorney can prepare you for your hearing before the Administrative Law Judge and help you feel more confident about the situation.
The Administrative Law Judge can be convinced by the claimant’s testimony and evidence, and they may approve the appeal and submit their findings to the SSA to conduct a benefits determination. However, if the Administrative Law Judge denies the appeal during the hearing, the next phase of the appeal process is a submission to the Social Security Appeals Council. This Council must decide whether to review the decision of the Administrative Law Judge. If any errors in judgment are found, the Council may remand the case back to the judge for further review.
Benefits of Working With an Experienced Social Security Disability Attorney
Whether you are filing your claim for Social Security Disability benefits for the first time or have had your claim denied and you must appeal the SSA’s decision, you need skilled help. An experienced Social Security Disability attorney is the best asset to have on your side for these matters. Your attorney can help you complete your initial claim forms accurately and secure all of the medical records and other supporting documents you must provide to the SSA. Your legal team can help you minimize the chances of clerical errors interfering with your claim. If your claim is denied, they will assist you in preparing for the appeal process.
It can be very difficult for anyone to secure approval for Social Security Disability benefits, especially if it is their first time filing a claim. The attorneys of Gade & Parekh, LLP have extensive experience helping Sacramento-area clients navigate the Social Security Disability claims and appeals processes, and we can assist you with your case. If your claim has been denied, you have a limited time in which to file an appeal, and we can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our firm and learn more about the legal services we offer.