Tips When Requesting a Disability Hearing
It is not uncommon for applicants to have their initial Social Security disability claim denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA). You can improve your chances of having the claim approved by hiring an experienced disability attorney. If you wait until the appeals process to hire an attorney, you increase your chances of being approved in this situation too. If the claim is denied, you can request an appeal hearing with the SSA. Below, you will find some tips to follow when requesting a disability hearing in Alabama.
When and Why are Disability Appeals Filed?
The first chance you have to file an appeal is when you file a request for reconsideration. This means that your initial claim was denied, and you want the SSA to reconsider your case. Your next option to file an appeal comes when the reconsideration is denied by the SSA. On average, more than 80 percent of reconsiderations are denied each year. If the reconsideration is denied, you can then request a hearing. This is what’s known as a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.
Deadline to File an Appeal
There is a deadline you must follow when filing an appeal after the reconsideration has been denied. You have 60 days to file an appeal with the SSA and are given an additional five days for mailing the paperwork. Even though you have 65 days, with mailing time, to file an appeal you should do so as soon as possible. Don’t wait two weeks before filing. File an appeal as soon as you can after your reconsideration is denied.
Steps for Submitting an Appeal
If you need to submit an appeal for disability benefits, or request a hearing, you can do so by yourself or with the help of an attorney. If you filed the appeal on paper, make sure you keep copies of every single document used in the appeal. The request for a hearing should be submitted to the same SSA office where your initial claim and reconsideration appeals were filed. Even if you file the appeal online, be sure to print a copy of the appeal for your records.
After the request for a hearing has been filed, either you or your attorney should contact the SSA office where the request was filed to ask for confirmation. This is an important part of the request process and helps you understand where your hearing process is headed. If the SSA cannot confirm receipt of the hearing request, you will need to submit it again.
Do not get discouraged with the process of your hearing. It can take weeks, months, and even years to get a disability hearing scheduled. Consider making a call to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review once every few months to check on the status of your case and whether or not a hearing will be scheduled soon. For the most part, the only response you will hear from the office is that “the file has yet to be assigned.”
What Happens After You Request a Hearing?
So, what happens after you submit a request for a hearing? The person who filed the request, the claimant, will usually receive written acknowledgement from the SSA. Acknowledgement of the hearing request does not get issued until the request you filed has been forwarded from the SSA office where it was filed. When you receive acknowledgement, it means the SSA has received the request and that a hearing is now pending.
Preparing for a Hearing
Be sure to obtain a copy of your file prior to the hearing. It is best to have an attorney represent you so they can review the file and look for any inconsistencies with your situation. Once the hearing has been scheduled, submit medical evidence updates from your doctors to the hearing office. Make sure these documents are submitted prior to the date of the hearing. All records you submit to the hearing office should be copied and kept in a safe place, so you always have the information at your hands.
Filing a Request for a Disability Hearing? Call an Experienced Attorney
Are you ready to file a request for a disability hearing? Has your initial claim and reconsideration both been denied by the SSA? It’s time to speak to an experienced disability attorney about your case. Call the office of The Dansby Law Firm, P.C. at 1-877-834-7001 to schedule a free consultation.