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Friday, July 30, 2010

What are the different levels of the application and appeal process for Social Security Disability?

Whether you are applying for SSD or SSI the process is still the same.

1) Initial application

The claimant must complete an application for disability benefits. Then, the Disability Determination Service obtains your medical evidence and goes through the 5-step evaluation to determine disability. The claimant may be scheduled for a consultative examination with a state doctor as well.

2) Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge

If the initial application is denied, the claimant can file a request for a hearing before a judge, in which the case is presented through the claimant’s testimony and medical evidence. An impartial vocational or medical expert may also testify at the hearing. Although the claimant has a right to a hearing, he/she may waive that right, opting for a decision based only upon the medical evidence instead. Upon evaluation of all the evidence, the judge will issue a written decision.

A request for a hearing must be filed within 60 days of the date of denial. If you fail to do so, your case is over. You can start a new case, but you will not be able to go back to the date your filed your original case. Call 866-540-0677 and our experienced Michigan Social Security Disability lawyers can help you file your appeal. You should mail your appeal to the appeal address shown on your denial notice, preferably by registered mail, return receipt requested.

If you have misplaced the address for appeal, call SSA at 800-772-1213 to ask for a mailing address. Otherwise, look up the address in the phone book. If you are nearing the 60 day deadline, hand deliver your appeal to your nearest Social Security office and make sure to get a receipt for your filing.
Even if you send your appeal to the Social Security Administration at the wrong address, your appeal date will most likely be protected as long as someone, somewhere at Social Security received it. Even a fax will suffice.

3) Appeals Council

If the claimant receives an unfavorable decision, or does not fully agree with the judge’s decision, an appeal can be filed with the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council is comprised of administrative law judges who have the authority to grant, remand or deny your appeal. The Appeals Council will consider the hearing record and any additional evidence that has been submitted subsequently.NOTE: An Appeals Council appeal must be filed within 60 days of the date of the unfavorable decision.

4) U.S. District Court and beyond

If you do not agree with the action the Appeals Council has taken, the appeal moves out of the administrative courts. Subsequent appeals are filed in the federal courts: U.S. District Court, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court. It is very rare that a person gets to this level. Most cases are not overturned at these levels.

For a Michigan Social Security Disability Attorney, the lawyers at Allan W. Ben P.C have years of experience winning Social Security Disability cases. At Allan W. Ben P.C., we work with first time applicants or those interested in appealing their Social Security Disability application that were denied. Our lawyers will walk you through the process to determine if you are eligible for benefits. If so, we offer to be your representative through the whole process, helping you submit your initial application for Social Security Disability Benefits, collect medical evidence, and appeal your denied claim in court if needed. Call are office toll free at 866-540-0677 or by email at

1 comment:

  1. Claiming your disability benefits will be a long journey, it's better to consult a lawyer to ease your burdens. They'll help you from the initial application to your court hearings. You've suffered enough in adjusting to your disability, so sit back and relax as your trusted lawyer defends you in court.