Struggling with a disability can be overwhelming, to say the least. You may find yourself wondering how you’ll care for yourself, provide for your family, and continue to heal and move forward. If you find yourself in this place, you should know that you aren’t alone. You should also know that there’s help available, and you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits.
Perhaps you’ve arrived at this page because you’ve never applied for benefits and you’re wondering how the process works. Or you may have arrived at this page because you’ve already applied, and now find yourself wondering – what next?
It’s a reasonable question and one for which we hope we can provide helpful answers. At the Law Office of Daniel Berger, helping disabled individuals through the process of applying for and receiving Social Security Disability benefits is our passion – and we’re committed to giving our best effort to every client we serve.
An Overview of the Application and Appeals Process
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that many Social Security disability claims are initially rejected by the Social Security Administration. While that may be discouraging, it doesn’t mean that your pursuit of benefits has to end after your first denial. In fact, there is a process for seeking reconsideration – and talking with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney about your options in that regard can always be helpful. Let’s take a look at that process together:
- File a Request for Reconsideration: Many claimants file a request for reconsideration after their initial rejection. A small percentage will then receive approval of their claim, while the remaining applicants will go on to the next level of appeal.
- Administrative Hearing: The next level of appeal is a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Often, around 60% of applicants find success at this level.
- The Appeals Council: The claimants who have not yet found success may choose to file an appeal with the Appeals Council. A smaller percentage of claimants tend to win their case at this level. Those who fail to secure benefits at the Appeals Council have one remaining option left – federal court review.
It goes without saying that the ideal scenario would be to apply for benefits and be approved the first time. Sometimes, however, this isn’t the case – and sometimes, you may find yourself at the top level of appeal before a federal court. If so, your next logical question may be – what should you expect then?
A Closer Look at Federal Court Review
Those who have their claims denied by the Appeals Council and wish to appeal to federal court will have 60 days following the denial to do so. To start your appeal, your attorney will help you file a civil complaint in the United States District Court against the current Social Security Commissioner. After doing so, you’ll receive a summons issued by the court, which your attorney will serve at the Office of the General Counsel. The Social Security Administration will file a response, and your appeal will officially be underway.
With the assistance of your attorney, you’ll file a brief reviewing the evidence in your case and making your arguments, and the Social Security Administration will typically file a brief in response explaining why the decision was made to deny your claim. At that point, a federal judge will review the evidence and the arguments and will issue a decision in your case.
Those who decide to appeal should know ahead of time that this can often be the most time-consuming and expensive part of the appeals process – which doesn’t necessarily mean that doing so isn’t worth it. If you truly believe that you have a valid claim, and you have the right legal team on your side, taking your claim to federal court for review may be the best and smartest step you can take toward success. At the Law Office of Daniel Berger, that’s where we come in.
New York Disability Attorney Daniel Berger – Here for You
If you are disabled, you need a legal team on your side who understands the law – and who will fight for you every step of the way as you seek to recover the benefits that you need and deserve. At the Law Office of Daniel Berger, we are that team. We understand the law and we have many years of experience helping our clients to navigate the legal process, so they can focus on what’s most important – caring for themselves and those they love.
If you’re ready to get started, we are here and ready to help. Give us a call today at 718-691-7475, or reach us through our website at Law Offices of Daniel Berger. We look forward to speaking with you soon.