Receiving certain benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) is contingent on certain eligibility criteria, and in some cases, your claim can be denied. However, the SSA does allow those who have had their claims denied to appeal these decisions. Depending on the level of your appeal, as well as the factors that surround your case, appealing and finding a positive outcome after being denied benefits is possible. Appealing your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) appeal is the best way to get the benefits you need to help with your condition, and the appeals process starts with finding a strong, competent legal team.
How Do You Win a Social Security Disability Appeal?
Similar to how you apply for Social Security disability benefits, the appeals process relies on different criteria that make you eligible for an appeal. Most of the more significant factors, like being legally considered disabled, are unable to be changed. However, others can be changed and remedies to help with the appeals process. For example, applying for a reconsideration appeal with the same information is common among those applying for an appeal themselves, and in some situations, these appeals may be granted. Finding a legal team able to evaluate your documents and provide the guidance needed to ensure that your claim is properly assembled is crucial for this step of the process, especially when appealing a denial of benefits.
One of the biggest factors that go into your Social Security Disability Insurance appeal is tied to your medical conditions. The Social Security Administration outlines a specific list of qualifying illnesses and conditions that can be used to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance. Some conditions, like multiple sclerosis (M.S.), are contained under the list of illnesses that qualify for Social Security disability. Although the list of qualifying disabilities is large, some medical conditions are not listed and must be appealed to receive recognition. As long as these illnesses are proven to reduce your ability to work, they can be brought before a judge during your appeal and used to strengthen your case.
Factors That Impact Your Appeal
When appealing your claim denial, some of the most important factors are tied to your specific medical condition. However, the impact of your condition goes beyond naming your illness, bringing other components into your overall appeal. Some of these factors include:
- The severity of your condition and whether or not it has gotten harder to manage
- New or previously undisclosed medical information that supports your condition
- New or previously undisclosed doctor’s visits in between your claim denial and appeal
- Any fulfilled requests from previous hearings or meetings with Disability Determination Services or an administrative law judge
Appeal hearings can take time to secure, which can make any degenerative conditions worsen. This can act as a double-edged sword. On one hand, having physical signs that your condition is worsening is better for your claim, but dealing with the stress of the legal process in conjunction with your condition worsening can be exceedingly hard to handle. Any extra doctor’s appointments or medical visits related to your worsening condition during this time should be recorded by your legal team to better help your case. Maintaining your records, as well as a clear sense of your condition and legal filings, is the best way to stay on top of your appeal, helping you hopefully reach a better settlement.
What Can Help Your SSDI Appeal Get Approved?
One of the best ways to have a successful Social Security Disability Insurance appeal is to find a legal team well-versed in the Social Security Disability Insurance appeal process. Having legal expertise with any matter regarding complex systems like Social Security Disability Insurance is imperative to assemble a strong, air-tight appeal. They would start with the reasons that your claim got denied, whether they be formatting issues or more complex, structural problems with your appeal. Once solved, the appeal can be modified to better reflect your needs.
After reviewing your case, your next step toward appealing is preparing to be in front of a judge. Consulting your legal team, especially in this preparation stage, is key to ensuring that you can handle testifying in front of a judge. At this stage, consulting any expert witnesses or medical professionals that can attest to your condition, such as specialized care providers, can help create a stronger evidence basis for your appeal.
Levels of Escalation for Your Appeal
As with any legal proceedings that require such strict scrutiny, the different levels at which your claim can be heard are reliant on certain factors and previous legal foundations for your case. The three main levels for your case include:
- The Hearing Level: At the hearing level of any legal claim, having the proper representation can help you accurately state your claim and begin your case. During the hearing, an administrative law judge will hear and review your case before deciding whether it should be approved.
- The Appeals Council: After your hearing, your claim will be sent to the Social Security Appeals Council, where your claim is further decided on. Depending on the outcome of this level, your claim can either be approved, denied, or sent back to the hearing level for further deliberation.
- Federal Court: If sent through the Appeals Council and still in need of further analysis, your claim can be sent to federal court, where it can be firmly decided or sent back to the hearing level to sort out any initial problems with your case.
When to Seek a Lawyer
Finding a disability lawyer able to help you through the appeals process is one of the best ways to help create a cohesive, legally sound appeal for your Social Security Disability Insurance claim denial. Adding any important information and documentation regarding your condition can help create a better foundation for your claim, helping you receive the insurance you need to survive. At Gade & Parekh, LLP, our legal team is well-versed in disability law and can handle the appeals process in its entirety. For more information about our services, including an in-depth description of what we offer, visit our website and schedule a consultation with our team today.