You are undoubtedly aware that your employer submits a significant portion of your earnings to the Social Security Administration (SSA). But what exactly are the benefits of this to you as an employee? If you are not aware, there are numerous benefits that you are entitled to reap from it. One of the favors is being paid if you have a physical disability.
However, in the present day system, getting a disability claim approved by the SSA is not a walk in the park. You’ll need to be highly aggressive in your approach to be guaranteed of payment. But you’ve heard people who have reapplied for the disability claim for umpteenth times without avail. What does it mean being aggressive? Well, the aggression here must be accompanied by tact. For a chance to get the funds approved, there are particular steps that you need to follow. This article has good advice on the specifics of how to handle a denied disability claim. And it is pretty simple.
Follow the primary guidelines listed below.
1. Seek legal help
If you have limited know-how of the legal procedures of handling a denied disability claim, you need to engage an attorney. This will help you to navigate through the applications while following what is necessary at each step. A lawyer will aid you to present the appropriate documents in the appeal process.
But where do you source the money to pay the lawyer? If this is your worry, you need to calm your nerves. Lawyers understand that you may not be having the funds to pay them upfront as it is the situation in many other lawsuits. What happens is that the lawyer gets a portion of the money received from the claim once the appeal is won. Mostly, their terms are that you pay them 25% of the funds or $6,000. The money paid shouldn’t exceed $6,000. Sounds a nice deal, right? Indeed it is. Additionally, with such an agreement, the lawyer is more motivated to win the case as a loss won’t lead to any payment.
2. File an appeal
Once you’ve consulted a disability claims expert lawyer, he/she will advise you on how to begin the appeal case. Remember that it is pointless to keep applying for a disability claim once it is denied. A significant percentage of those who have chosen applying as their first action have only suffered further frustrations. SSA is a tough nut, and you need to deal with them in court if your claim is denied.
Also, according to past cases, most of the individuals who have appealed their cases have won the claim suits. This is in contrast to almost all people who consider reapplying for the claim as the primary step. Most of them lose the cases.
3. Steps to follow during an appeal
A disability claim appeal case is not what a typical lawsuit looks like. There are various procedures that you need to follow to increase your chances of winning the case. Remember that having a lawyer to guide you throughout the process is a bonus. During the appeal case, you need to follow the following steps:
• File a request for reconsideration.
This process involves submitting the documents that you had presented in the hitherto denied case for further checking. The task of evaluating the papers for a second time should be given to a different SSA representative from the one who handled the initial case. Your lawyer will advise you on the additional documents that you can attach to strengthen your claim. For this reason, you need to settle for a competent lawyer who is well informed on matters involving disability claims suits.
• The disability hearing.
Most reconsiderations are unsuccessful, and there’s a high chance that the case is presented for hearing by the SSA. An administrative judge handles the case at this stage. At this point, you are allowed to bring witnesses to strengthen the claim. Often, the hearings also involve a medical expert who evaluates the credibility of your disability claim by conducting a physical examination on you. If the court upholds the SSA decision, the case is forwarded to the Appeals Council.
• Appeals Council.
In this stage, a panel of appellate court judges evaluates the decision of the lower court. Remember that you cannot present new evidence at this stage. The panel can agree with the lower court’s decision, overturn it, and award you the funds or present recommendations to the administrative court on what to reconsider.
Your disability claim stands a significant chance of being awarded even after being dismissed by the SSA in the initial stage. All that you need to do is to be aggressive in reaching out to the relevant authorities. Having a lawyer is also a bonus to aid you to go through the court procedures that can be confusing, especially for individuals without law know-how. Lastly, you need to be truthful to your lawyer as it will help him/her to plan adequately on how to handle the case.