Attorney Fernando Narvaez Explains What To Do If You Are Denied
If you are denied Social Security disability benefits, you may be feeling anxious, worried or frustrated at the prospect of losing this vital monthly income. However, you can rest assured in the notion that the Social Security Administration permits applicants to appeal the decision up to three times before a final order is issued – and you may even be able to file a personal lawsuit in federal district court after that. If you are facing your first denial, relax – and contact a knowledgeable Social Security disability lawyer as quickly as possible.
The Reconsideration Phase
In most states, including Florida, the first appeals phase is known as the Reconsideration stage. A Reconsideration – as the name suggests – is a re-evaluation of your original claim by a different set of SSA evaluators. You will submit the same application and medical evidence and, for about 9 percent of applicants, will experience a positive result. If you are denied after the Reconsideration phase, you will then initiate your request for a hearing before an administrative law judge.
The Hearing Phase
Probably the most intensive aspect of the appeals process, the hearing phase involves live testimony before an administrative law judge – who will eventually make a decision on your eligibility for benefits. During the hearing, you will be given an opportunity to testify in your own words about the impact your disability has placed on your life, including your restrictions and limitations on a daily basis. Testimony from experts, including an occupational or medical expert, may also be necessary. In Florida, approximately 48 percent of applicants who reach the hearing phase receive an approval, which is slightly lower than the 50 percent national average.
The Final Appeal
Within the SSA, the final step of the appeals process takes place before the Special Appeals Council – a group headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia and tasked with reviewing the paperwork, documentation and order from the administrative law hearing below. If you are still denied at the Special Appeals level, your final opportunity for review will involve filing a personal civil lawsuit in federal district court.
Contact Attorney Fernando Narvaez Today!
If you are considering an appeal and would like to discuss your options, we encourage you to speak with a knowledgeable SSD attorney in the Tampa Bay area right away. Please contact Fernando V. Narvaez, Attorney at Law by calling 727-914-4999.