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Social Security Disability Appeal Lawyers
Social Security Disability (SSD) is a federal program that provides a monthly payment to people with permanent or life-threatening disabilities. The money comes from the amount that all working people pay into social security through a payroll deduction. Despite the fact you may have worked for years and feel you have a legitimate disability that prevents you from working indefinitely, it isn’t easy to qualify for SSD. In fact, the Disability Benefits Center states that more than two-thirds of initial applicants receive a denial letter from the government.
Being denied for SSD doesn’t mean that you’re not eligible for it. In most cases, applicants simply failed to provide enough information for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to make a favorable decision. This is understandable when you consider the complexity of the eligibility and application processes.
If you find yourself in this frustrating position, the NY social security disability appeal lawyers at Terry Katz & Associates are here to help. However, you must act fast since the government allows people denied for SSD just 60 days to appeal their denial on their own or with the help of a New York disability appeals lawyer.
Appealing Your Social Security Disability Decision
If you submit a request for reconsideration, you will attend a disability hearing with your attorney. It’s important that you arrive at this hearing well-prepared to present medical evidence and a verbal testimony as to why you’re entitled to receive SSD benefits. We recommend that you gather the following information at a minimum:
- A list of all medications you currently take and the purpose for taking them, including both prescription and non-prescription medications
- The most current medical information you have available, including notes from your doctor, test results, hospital admission paperwork, and contact information for all medical providers
- Written documentation of any change to your medical history since you submitted your application
- Contact information for a relative or friend who can confirm the struggles you face with your disability
- A written account of how your disability has changed your activities of daily living, a pursuit of education, and work opportunities
Additionally, make sure that you have the date of your denial and the name and contact information for the SSA representative who sent you the letter.
Don’t worry if you’re unable to pull all of this information together before your disability hearing. Your lawyer for disability appeal will assist you in gathering as much data as possible to support your claim.
Stages of Social Security Disability Appeals In NY
The disability hearing described above is the first stage in appealing a denial for SSD. You will receive notice that you have been approved for a disability hearing after someone from the SSA reviews your initial request for reconsideration. It is crucial to work with social security disability appeal lawyers at this early stage to ensure that you receive fair consideration at your hearing.
While you must swear under oath, to tell the truth, and the judge wears a black robe at your disability hearing, it is more informal than a typical court procedure. The only people present are you, your attorney from Terry Katz & Associates, an Administrative Law Judge, and a legal clerk.
Two other people who may be present are a medical or vocational expert. The first will ask you questions and provide expert opinion to the judge on your health condition. The second will inform the judge of any other work he or she feels you may be qualified to train to do. You’re also allowed to bring witnesses if desired, and you should be prepared to testify on your own behalf.
It can take up to six weeks to receive a decision by mail. If you’re denied again, you can consider taking your case to the Social Security Appeals Council. When your case comes before the council, judges not previously involved with your case will review it. The judges will not consider any new evidence from you at this point. Their primary obligation is to ensure that the Administrative Law Judge from your previous hearing interpreted your information correctly and followed proper procedures and laws in coming to his or her legal decision.
Upon reviewing your cases, judges for the Social Security Appeals Council will make one of three possible decisions. These include:
- Agree with the findings of your original disability hearing
- Overturn the previous ruling and award you SSD payments
- Return the case to the Administrative Law Judge with observations about any legal errors and a request for him or her to reconsider the case
The next option available to you if you have received a denial in every previous attempt is to file a lawsuit to be heard in federal district court. Although the Disability Benefits Center estimates that only one percent of denied applicants exercise this option, our social security disability appeal lawyers are fully prepared to go to court to argue for your right to disability benefits.
Like earlier forms of appeal, you have just 60 days to request a federal lawsuit after receiving a denial from the Social Security Appeals Council. You will also need to pay a filing fee but can request a waiver if it will place an undue financial hardship on you. It is essential to have a lawyer for disability appeal at this stage of the process since most actions will fall upon your lawyer and not you. This includes filing the complaint, presenting the opening brief, presenting the reply brief, and giving an oral argument if required. Federal judges do not consider any documents or evidence at this point.
Once we have argued your case in federal court, you can expect to wait up to one year for a legal decision. The judge will rule in one of the following three ways:
- Uphold the decision made by judges from the Social Security Appeals Council and deny your request for SSD
- Request additional review of your case by the Social Security Administration
- Rule in your favor and approve your SSD benefits
You have one last recourse if denied at this level, which is appealing to Federal Circuit Court. However, you should know that the filing fee is high, the wait is very long, and your chances of success are quite small. Even so, we are prepared to fight this court battle for you as well.
Disability Appeal Lawyers – Decades of Experience
The New York social security disability appeal lawyers at Terry Katz & Associates have more than 30 years of experience helping people with serious disabilities and illnesses obtain the financial resources they need. Please contact us to request a free evaluation of your case at 888-488-7459. Our office is conveniently located near Long Island in Uniondale, New York.