If my initial Application is denied, should I request Reconsideration and/or a Hearing?
Yes! It is not unusual to be denied after filing your initial Application, and it also is not unusual to be denied after requesting Reconsideration.
Do not be discouraged by the process. It can be a challenge, and we understand that and regularly assist clients seeking SSD and SSI benefits. Only 30 percent of all applications are approved at the initial level of the disability claim process. But statistics also show that having a lawyer improves the chances of winning.
If your SSD or SSI Application is denied, then you have 60 days to request Reconsideration. The process essentially is repeated with updated information from you. But again, it is a challenge to win at this stage. Roughly 85 percent of all applications are denied at the reconsideration level of the disability claim process.
Requesting a Hearing
If Reconsideration is denied, then you have 60 days to appeal and request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The hearing stage is when you have your best chance to win. We regularly represent clients at every stage of the process, from the initial application to the ALJ hearing, and your chances of winning at every one of those stages are better if you have an attorney.
Before and at your ALJ hearing, you may submit updated information and evidence to the Social Security Administration. At the hearing, the ALJ and your attorney will ask you questions about your medical condition and your ability to do any work. Then, the ALJ and your attorney will ask a vocational expert about whether there are any jobs you could perform given your medical condition and limitations.
The ALJ will then consider all the evidence and issue a written decision after the hearing. However, the entire process from application to ALJ decision can take up to two years. We recognize that it is difficult for individuals who cannot work and are suffering from a medical condition to wait that long. We make every effort to move your case as quickly as we can, and also get you the best result.