Appealing a disability denial can be stressful. There may be no clear way for you to overcome a denial, and the government’s decision that you are “not disabled” or that you don’t deserve benefits can hurt. If you have been denied disability benefits or had your initial application rejected, talk to a lawyer immediately for help.
Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, is a Bentonville, AR disability benefits appeal lawyer working to help denials and rejections get turned into full disability benefits. If you need help handling an appeal of a disability decision from the Social Security Administration (SSA), call us today to set up a free case consultation. Our number is (479) 316-0438.
Reasons Disability Applications are Denied in Bentonville
Your application for disability benefits might have been denied for multiple reasons. Some of these are simple issues that can be corrected, but others are more complex issues that require a closer look. Our lawyer can help either way.
First, some disability applications are denied because they are incomplete or missing certain information. The SSA cannot complete your application process if information is missing, and many applications are denied because of this. Unfortunately, many people do not know what to do to complete the application or do not understand what information they are missing, and the SSA might not explain that to them. Your lawyer, however, can help you with this. In some cases, an appeal might not even be necessary if you can simply correct the application and resubmit it.
In other cases, disability applications will be denied because the SSA finds that you either do not meet their definition of “disabled,” that your disability is not “severe” enough to prevent you from working, or, depending on what type of disability benefits you file for, you do not qualify for benefits for technical or financial reasons. An attorney can appeal the case and fight to get you the benefits you need by working up through the chain of the SSA’s appeal process or taking the case to court.
Appealing a Social Security Disability Denial in Bentonville
To appeal your disability case, there are usually a few possible steps you can take. Your lawyer can walk you through which steps are appropriate for your case and how to file for them. Your lawyer can also handle the paperwork and legal side of things and help you understand what doctors you need to see and what forms they need to fill out on the medical side of things.
Appeals usually need to go in the order listed below, starting with reconsideration, then moving to an administrative law judge hearing, then to the Appeals Council. Sometimes, cases never get to the level of an appeal because the initial reviewer simply asks for additional information, like further forms from a doctor or confirmation of certain medical testing.
In some cases, filing for “reconsideration” will be enough. This will have a different reviewer at the SSA look at your application and potentially come to a different decision about whether or not your medical condition qualifies for benefits or whether financial qualifications are met.
Administrative Law Judge Hearings
Some cases can be appealed to an administrative law judge (ALJ). These hearings before an ALJ are official court proceedings, and you have the right to an attorney to represent you in your claim. These administrative judge hearings can often involve in-depth looks at your condition and your qualifications. If the judge determines that your condition meets the proper qualifications, the SSA should start paying you benefits.
Appeals Council Hearings
If that fails, the SSA’s Appeals Council can also be asked to review the case. In some cases, they might send the case back down to an administrative law judge for further hearings and information. Otherwise, they might accept or deny your appeal based on what happened in the lower stages.
If all else fails, you can sue the Social Security Administration in federal court to continue your appeal. This will put the case before a judge and potentially a jury in open court to determine the outcome of your case and whether your rights were violated. Most appeals do not get to this stage because the case is definitively resolved earlier.
How to Appeal a Disability Denial in Bentonville
You can usually file a disability appeal online. There are also options for filing the appeal at a nearby Social Security Disability office. Especially for people with serious disabilities that make it difficult to travel, filing online is usually best.
Your attorney can help you with all of the paperwork and forms that you need to file your appeal. In some cases, this might mean going back to square one and going over all of your documents again, potentially adding additional medical paperwork from your doctor. Your lawyer can help manage these things.
Filling out the paperwork could be difficult for people with some disabilities, whether because of motor skill restrictions or trouble managing or understanding the paperwork. Our lawyer has experience helping disabled Arkansans and can work with you on the paperwork and filings.
ALJ hearings and Appeals Council hearings are often handled in person, but the SSA usually has to schedule the hearing at a location within 75 miles of your home. If that is too far to travel, some of these hearings can be handled remotely.
Call Our Bentonville Disability Denial and Appeal Attorney for a Free Consultation
If your application for disability benefits was denied, our attorney might be able to help. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, is a Bentonville, AR disability benefits appeal lawyer. He can help appeal denials, wrong benefit amounts, and other issues with your application to help you get the disability benefits you need. For a free case consultation, call today at (479) 316-0438.