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Social Security Disability Appeals Process

Michigan Disability Appeal Lawyer

Social Security Disability Hearings and Appeals Process

If Social Security denies your application for either SSD or SSI, you have the right to appeal their decision and request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. You can only file an appeal if your denial is a medical denial – namely, they did not believe your medical condition was not severe enough to keep you from working. You must file an appeal within 60 days of the date on your denial letter. You can do this either in person at your local social security office, or via U.S. mail. Many claimants hire representatives to assist them in filing an appeal and to build their case.

Once your appeal is filed, your case will be sent to an Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) to await a hearing. From the day your appeal is filed, it can take anywhere from 12-14 months for the court to schedule your hearing. Some ODARs have even longer waiting periods.

Before Your Social Security Disability Appeal Hearing

Prior to the hearing, it is your responsibility to submit all updated medical records to the judge for review. It is important to submit this information several weeks before your hearing, so the judge has enough time to review it. If you have hired a representative, the representative will order your medical records, and will draft a brief to summarize them.

What Happens At The Appeal Hearing

At the hearing the judge will take your testimony regarding your ability to work – they will want to get a sense of what you are capable of, and evaluate if you could return to work in some capacity. After you testify, the judge will question a Vocational Expert (VE) who is present at the hearing, and will ask if they could place you in any jobs in the national or regional economy.

When To Expect The Judge’s Decision

About two to three months after the hearing, you will receive a copy of the judge’s decision in the mail. If you’re approved, you can follow up with Social Security to begin receiving your benefits. If you’re denied, you can either file a new application or an appeal to the Appeals Council.

Appeal To The Appeals Council

The Appeals Council is a panel of adjudicators in Falls Church, Virginia, who processes hearing denials. The Appeals Council will review your file to see if your judge made an error of law, and if so, may request that your case be sent back for another hearing. If the Appeals Council denies your request for review, you have the right to file suit in Federal Court. You must file suit within 60 days of the date on your Appeals Council denial.

Have Questions About The Social Security Disability Appeals Process? We Can Help

Please call us today at 855-MIKE-WINS or e-mail us to learn how we can help.

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