Appealing the Claim
Ensuring Successful Appeals
When the initial application is rejected, an applicant has four possible chances to appeal the rejection. A skilled Oakland Social Security Disability lawyer can provide the best option for a successful appeal since he is familiar with the reasons for denials and can act offensively to avoid them. Each step of the appeals process is different than the other steps and must be given careful attention.
The first appeal is called reconsideration. In this step, someone other than the person who initially rejected your claim will conduct a complete review of your claim. All of the evidence is reevaluated as well as any new or additional evidence provided. Statistics show that the Disability Determination Services (DDS) approves approximately 5% of all reconsideration claims.
If your claim is rejected again, you can proceed to the next step, which is a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). You must request this hearing within 60 days from receipt of your denial. It is strongly recommended that if you have not yet retained a legal representative that you do so at this point. Our firm prepares all of our clients for this hearing and we attend the hearing with each client to provide strong legal representation. Overall, an administrative law judge will grant about 67% of the claims that reach them, and some ALJ's even approve 99% of the claims that they see.
When the ALJ does not grant your disability request, you can further appeal your case to the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council randomly selects cases for review and will usually look for a flaw in the ALJ decision before they will grant a review. This council has the power to grant, deny or dismiss your request for review, and most applicants are not successful with the Appeals Council. Statistics show that your chance of approval is only 2% to 3% with this step, and you can file a lawsuit in the U.S. district court if your case is denied here.
Providing Sensible Representation
The ALJ hearing provides your greatest opportunity for approval so it is important to be properly prepared for it. Our firm can review the entire process up to this point and work to isolate the reasons why your claim has been rejected. Based on those findings, we will formulate a sound strategy for the hearing and execute it with your approval. We know that you may be frustrated and anxious about ever getting your claim approved. We provide the help you need and we will fight for your rights tirelessly. There are still two more appeal options after the hearing stage, and we will fight for you to the end, if necessary.