If you have suffered a disabling injury or illness and are unable to work for a living, you are very likely to be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits in Florida. Unfortunately, you are also very likely to be denied benefits when you first apply for them.
You should not give up on your SSD claim. There are several levels of appeal available to you and many reasons your appeal of a denied SSD claim can result in the reversal of a negative decision. You can and should appeal a denial, and you should do so with the assistance of an experienced Social Security benefits attorney.
In Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Holiday, New Port Richey, Tarpon Springs, Spring Hill, and surrounding areas of Florida, the Social Security Disability attorneys at Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, P.A., can help you fight the government for the benefits you deserve. Contact us today for a free initial consultation at 888-711-7920 or fill out our online contact form.
Reasons to Appeal A Denied SSD Claim Application
Why should you appeal a denial of SSD benefits? Because an appeal can be successful!
As of December 2012, the Social Security Administration was paying more than $1 billion a year in SSD benefits to 10.9 million people, including 8.8 million workers. The fact that millions of dollars of claims are awarded and paid every month proves that those who deserve benefits can get them. If you deserve benefits, you should have them.
Consider these reasons for an appeal:
- Most first claims are denied. The Social Security Administration (SSA) itself says that hundreds of thousands of SSD claims are denied each year for technical reasons before a medical decision is made. From 2002 through 2010, the percentage of applicants awarded benefits at the initial claims level averaged only 26 percent.
- The SSA has an established appeals system. It is expected that those who are denied Social Security benefits they deserve will appeal the decision. The four levels of appeal available to you are:
- Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
- Review by Appeals Council
- Review by Federal Court.
At each level, you are allowed to present new evidence, which may include corrected or additional evidence in case your claim was denied for a technical reason, such as omission of a particular piece of information. The first level of appeal, Reconsideration, is a complete review of your claim by someone who did not take part in the first decision. The SSA looks at all the evidence you submitted with your original application, plus any new evidence you submit.
- Appeals allow you to state your case. If your claim progresses to the hearing level, the SSA may ask for more evidence of your disability or for you to clarify information about your claim. This guidance can be helpful if there is a repairable problem with your claim that you did not recognize previously. You will also be allowed to provide testimony at the ALJ hearing and, if necessary, at higher levels of appeal.
- You can appeal with the benefit of experienced legal help. The claim denial rate attests to the fact that applying for SSD benefits is a complex process. The question is how much must you go through to get the benefits you should be receiving?
An experienced SSD attorney from the Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, P.A., can make sure your paperwork is complete and filed on time. There are deadlines at each level of appeals. We will work with you to gather medical and work records, and other evidence to support your claim. We can put you in touch with reputable doctors if medical evidence of your disability is incomplete. We will appear with you if there are hearings, and ensure your rights are protected.
- SSD benefits attorneys are effective. A 2012 study by the Social Security Advisory Board said initial claim applications filed with assistance were approved more often than claims that disabled workers filed on their own. The report also says claims filed with representation resulted in higher allowance rates (benefits).
Assistance with an SSD claim has “the potential to greatly expedite the disability determination process, while ensuring that the claimant receives the most informed determination possible at the initial claims stage,” the Board said.
You should also note that, while anyone may assist you with your SSD claim application, at the appeals level a non-attorney representative must have a bachelor’s degree, pass a background check and a written test, and have some form of liability insurance. An SSD benefits attorney is a licensed professional who adheres to established ethical standards, and who is already recognized by the Social Security Administration.
Contact Our Florida SSD Attorneys Today to Appeal a Denied SSD Claim
If your application for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits has been denied, you must request an appeal in writing within 60 days or forego financial assistance that you need. Call Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, P.A., toll free at 888-711-7920 or contact us online today for a free initial consultation about taking steps to appeal your claim denial.
If our Tampa, Florida Social Security Disability lawyers can pursue an appeal for you, we will work on a contingency-fee basis. That means we will only request pay for our services after you are awarded SSD benefits. Please contact us right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to compensation.
- Social Security Administration (SSA) – Outcomes of Applications for Disability Benefits
- SSA – Annual Statistical Supplement, 2013: Highlights and Trends
- SSA – The Appeals Process
- Social Security Advisory Board – Filing for Social Security Benefits: What Impact Does Professional Representation Have on the Process at the Initial Application Level?