How Do I Appeal an SSDI Denial in Arkansas?

When you receive a denial of your application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), it can feel like a major setback. However, you have the right to appeal this decision.

By taking advantage of this right, you can greatly increase your chances of ultimately securing the disability benefits you need. It is no secret that the appeals process for SSDI can be complicated. Fortunately, our skilled attorneys can support you throughout the process. We can carefully review your case and identify any weaknesses that might have contributed to your initial denial and increase your chances of success.

Call us today at (479) 316-0438 to receive your free case assessment with our Arkansas SSDI attorneys.

Can I Appeal an SSDI Denial in Arkansas?

An appeal is a request for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to review its denial of your SSDI claim. It is a crucial step in obtaining disability benefits, especially if the SSA made a mistake while processing your claim. The appeals process in Arkansas typically consists of four levels, which our Arkansas personal injury attorneys can help you prepare for. In some cases, a simple request might be all that is necessary to receive your benefits. However, the appeals process can go all the way to the federal court if necessary.

Request for Reconsideration

The first level of appeal is called a Request for Reconsideration. This stage involves a thorough and complete review of your claim by someone who was not involved in the initial decision. You have the option to submit your request for reconsideration either online or by mail within 60 days from the day you receive your denial letter.

Keep in mind that providing new evidence or relevant information that can support your claim is crucial at this stage. You should gather and submit any new evidence or information that was not available during the initial review process. This will ensure that your claim is reviewed thoroughly and fairly. Therefore, we advise taking the time to gather all the necessary information and documents required to support your claim before submitting your request for reconsideration.

Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge

If your reconsideration request has been denied, you have the opportunity to appeal the decision further. The next level of appeal is a hearing conducted by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).

During this hearing, the ALJ will review all the evidence submitted, including any new evidence you might have, and might also hear testimonies from you, your legal representative, and possibly medical or vocational experts. The ALJ will evaluate the evidence and testimony to make an independent decision based on the law and regulations.

You will also have the right to ask questions of all witnesses who testify during the hearing. It is important to be fully prepared for the hearing and have all necessary evidence and witnesses ready to present your case, which our team can help you do.

Review by the Appeals Council

If you are not satisfied with the decision made by the ALJ regarding your case, you have the right to request a review by the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council can either decide the case itself or send it back to an ALJ for further review.

However, the Appeals Council has the discretion to deny your request for review if it believes that the decision made by the ALJ was correct. This means that if the Council finds no errors in the ALJ’s decision or if it agrees with the evidence presented at the hearing, it might not grant your request for a review. Therefore, you will want to provide convincing evidence to support your claim that might not have been included in your original filing.

Federal Court Review

If the Appeals Council decides not to review your case or you disagree with its decision, you can file a lawsuit in a federal district court. This lawsuit is a formal legal proceeding, and you will need to have a qualified attorney to represent you in court.

Before filing a lawsuit, it is important to understand that this is a lengthy and complex process that can take several months or even years to complete. However, it can provide you with the best opportunity to present your case in front of a judge and potentially receive the benefits you deserve.

Reasons Why Your SSDI Claim Might Be Denied in Arkansas

Understanding the reasons behind a denial can significantly improve your chances of success in future applications or appeals. The following are common reasons for an SSI claim denial in Arkansas:

Lack of Medical Evidence

One of the most common reasons for an SSDI claim denial is a lack of sufficient medical evidence. The SSA requires detailed medical records that demonstrate your disability and show how it prevents you from working. If your medical evidence is incomplete, unclear, or does not adequately explain your disability, the SSA might deny your claim.

Non-Compliance with Medical Treatment

If you fail to follow prescribed treatment without a good reason, the SSA might deny your claim. The SSA needs to see that you have tried to manage your condition with appropriate treatment to assess how your disability affects your ability to work.

Your Disability is Not Severe Enough or Long-Term

To qualify for SSDI benefits, your disability must be severe enough to prevent you from working and is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. If the SSA determines that your condition is not severe or long-term, your claim will likely be denied.

You Can Perform Other Work

Even if your disability prevents you from doing your previous job, the SSA will consider whether there are other types of work you can still perform. If the SSA believes you can adjust to other work, considering your age, education, past work experience, and transferable skills, your claim might be denied.

You Earn Too Much Income

SSDI benefits are meant for individuals who are unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) because of their disability. If you are working and earning more than a certain amount per month (the SGA limit), the SSA might deny your claim on the grounds that you are not disabled.

Failure to Cooperate with the SSA

Your claim might be denied if you fail to cooperate with the SSA during the application process. This could include not providing requested documents, not attending scheduled medical exams, or not responding to SSA communications in a timely manner.

Our Arkansas SSDI Attorneys Can Help if Your Claim Has Been Denied

For a free case evaluation with our Rogers, AR SSDI lawyers, contact us by calling (479) 316-0438.