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Submitting your application for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits and waiting anxiously for the results can be a stressful time. When you do not receive a favorable outcome initially, it can be disheartening. Thankfully, the SSDI appeals process provides multiple opportunities to appeal denials. Most applications for SSDI are actually denied initially, so your chances of being approved for benefits are generally better on appeal.

Working with a Greenville SSDI appeals lawyer who is familiar with the appeals process can also improve your chances on appeal. Let an accomplished SSDI attorney help you get the benefits that you deserve.

Initial Steps in the SSDI Appeal Process

After a claim for SSDI benefits is submitted, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will issue a letter of determination. This letter will state whether or not the applicant has qualified for benefits and the next steps in the process. In the event that this letter is a denial of benefits, the applicant has the ability to file an initial appeal called a request for reconsideration.

Requests for Reconsideration in Greenville

The initial appeal should be filed within 60 days of receiving the letter of determination. Waiting beyond this time period may preclude an individual from pursuing an appeal and result in having to start the entire process from the beginning. This type of oversight can be incredibly time-consuming as the initial decision on a claim can take several months to be issued.

During a reconsideration, a new examiner will review the case file. Applicants may wish to provide more information in addition to what was submitted in the initial claim. If the decision of the reconsideration is also unfavorable, the applicant may appeal this decision and proceed to the administrative hearing phase.

SSDI Administrative Hearings

Retaining legal counsel is particularly advantageous once a claim has reached the administrative hearing stage. Requests for a hearing should also be filed within 60 days after a request for reconsideration is denied. An administrative law judge will preside over SSDI hearings. SSDI hearings are similar to other administrative proceedings. At the hearing stage, the applicant will usually submit additional or updated information for consideration by the administrative judge. At the hearing, both the applicant and the SSA will have the opportunity to call witnesses to testify. The applicant can also testify in support of their claim. After the hearing has concluded, the administrative judge will issue a decision.

Social Security Appeals Counsel

If the outcome at the administrative hearing is still not in favor of the applicant, the next step is to appeal the case to the Social Security Appeals Council. Appeals Council has the discretion to grant or deny a request for review at this point. If a request for review is granted by Appeals Council, they will review evidence from the initial claim and the hearing.

If Appeals Counsel denies a request for review or issues another denial, the only option left is to initiate a lawsuit in federal court. Speak with a Greenville SSDI appeals lawyer to learn more about the appeals process.

Let a Greenville SSDI Appeals Attorney Help

Remember that an initial denial of SSDI benefits is not necessarily the final outcome. The SSDI appeals process is undoubtedly lengthy and time-consuming, but it does provide you with multiple chances to achieve a favorable decision.

Working with a Greenville SSDI appeals lawyer could help ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible. Contact the office for more information.