Stage 3: Appeal Hearing

The third stage of seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD) benefits can be utilized if you are denied benefits after the Request for Reconsideration stage. Perseverance is important with the SSD application process; it is in this stage that the majority of applicants are finally granted benefits.

How an Attorney Helps the Appeal Process

After you are denied, you have 60 days to file a Request for an Appeal Hearing. If you are granted a hearing, you can expect to receive a Notice of Hearing by mail about one month prior to your hearing date.

Your SSD lawyer can give you in-depth details on appealing a denial and answer any SSD questions you may have to prepare you for the actual hearing. You should be ready to defend your right to benefits and have supporting documentation to prove your disability claim. There may be third-party physicians who will evaluate your disability and contribute to your case.

The Appeal Hearing

Your Appeal Hearing will happen in front of an Administrative Law Judge in the office of Adjudication and Review (ODAR). At this time, your case will be restated and any additional evidence presented. You do not have to have an SSD lawyer present, but hiring a lawyer for this stage of the process can be highly beneficial and may increase your chances of getting a favorable judgment. An experienced attorney can be very valuable for presenting the details of your case in the most logical and strategic manner, potentially minimizing your risk of denial.

What to Do if Denied an Appeal

Talk to your lawyer about why SSD claims are denied to better understand what the Administrative Law Judges are looking for. If the appeal hearing is not granted, you have two more opportunities for requesting benefits: Review by Appeals Council and Federal District Court.

In cases involving certain types of disability, an attorney may be able to request an early favorable decision, eliminating the need for an actual hearing in front of a judge and saving months of waiting time.

If you’re ready to talk to an SSD attorney about your disability claim, please search our lawyer directory to find skilled legal professionals in your community.