Why Attorneys are Important in Social Security Appeals

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), majority of the claims filed by people who seek benefits are usually denied at the initial stage. This discourages many applicants from pursuing social security benefits even if they deserve it because they may think that they do not have any chance of receiving it.

However, tenacity is important when it comes to applying for social security benefits. Just because your application is rejected, it doesn’t mean you have a worthy claim. Actually, most applications get rejected because of technical issues – often, the applicant may just have failed to attach all the documents needed or failed to sufficiently prove his eligibility.

This is why the stage of social security appeals is important. People who are initially rejected or get denied even during the reconsideration phase may now acquire legal help and once again, try to prove his eligibility to receive social security benefits. The good news is, most of the time at the appeals stage, the claim often gets approved. A large part of this is largely due to professional legal counsel a lot of the applicants have acquired to get through the hearing stage of their appeal.

If your claim was rejected, you don’t have to automatically give up especially if you have just cause to receive benefits. You may still file an appeal and even get a social security lawyer to make sure that your claim gets approved. Here is a brief overview of the appeals process and why you may need a social security attorney to help you out:

•    You may file an appeal at various stages of your application. Usually, after your claim gets denied at the Reconsideration phase, you may appeal that decision and request for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). If the decision from such hearing is still adverse to your claim, you may file an appeal with the Appeals Council so that they may review the decision of the ALJ. If you again lose your claim, you may file a ¬lawsuit in a federal district court. At these stages of your claim, having an attorney who specializes in social security would minimize the chances of going through all these appeals as he would surely know how to get your application approved.
•    Millions of claims get processed by the SSA so bear in mind that you also have to act within the time frame of any appeals you may file. Applicants generally have 60 days upon receipt of notice of the SSA’s decision of their claim to file a social security appeal. If you fail to file an appeal within the prescribed period, you will lose your right to appeal for a review or reconsideration of your benefits.
•    New evidence may be submitted in your case and witnesses such as doctors or vocational experts may be presented once you appeal. If you have a lawyer, he will handle gathering the necessary evidence as well as testimony needed to establish your claim.

Applicants of course, can always just go through the appeals process on their own but if they aren’t really sure of what they should do, it may just take longer and even just get their claim denied. An attorney throughout the social security appeals process is an invaluable tool to get your claim approved.

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