Your Social Security Disability claim will likely be denied the first time you file it.  This is true for most people.  The SSA may say that you are not disabled.  They also may deny you on procedural grounds; saying that need to submit more paperwork or that your work history leaves you unqualified for benefits.

No matter the reason why your claim was denied, you should not give up after the first time. Here are the steps that you should take:

  1. Reconsideration: This is your first appealYou must complete a Request for Reconsideration and an Appeal Disability Report and submit these forms to Social Security.  You can do this on the Internet or on paper. Someone new will review your medical records and make a new decision about your claim.
  2. Hearing: This is your second appeal.  It is generally the first time you have a right to appear before a judge.  Although you are not required to have an attorney at this stage, if you have not already done so, it is a very good idea to hire an attorney to help you.  You must complete a Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge and an Appeal Disability Report. Your matter will then be listed for hearing before a judge.  The judge will listen to testimony, review the documents and give her decision.  If you are going to be successful in obtaining benefits, it generally happens at this stage.   
  3. Appeals Council Review: If you lose your second appeal, you can seek an Appeals Council Review.  You must complete a Request for Review of Decision/Order of Administrative Law Judge. You cannot do this on the Internet. Sign and send it to your local Social Security office, and they will send your request to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. Someone there will review your medical records.
  4. District Court Case: At this level of appeal, you must have an attorney. He or she must file a case against Social Security in District Court. A district court judge will then hear your case.

It is a good idea to contact an experienced Warren County Social Security Disability attorney. Manfred Ricciardelli can help you and your loved ones receive the disability benefits you deserve. Set up a meeting today by calling 973-285-1100 or filling out our online contact form. The first consultation is always free, and you don’t pay unless you win.

Manfred Ricciardelli
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Morristown Workers' Compensation Lawyer