If your initial application for Social Security disability benefits is denied you are not alone. Of all the applicants that apply for Social Security disability benefits in Illinois, 65% of applicants are denied at the first level. There are numerous reasons for the denial, maybe your income is too high or perhaps the prognosis is that your disability will not last 12 months. However, do not give up if you are denied, you have the right to appeal. There are a number of levels of appeal. The appeals process is a great time to hire a disability lawyer in Evanston. An attorney has in-depth knowledge of the rules, regulations and laws that apply to Social Security, they can help you have the decision reversed.
There are four levels of appeal available to you:
Reconsideration of the initial application: If your application is denied, the first step in the appeals process is to simply request reconsideration of your application. You have 60 days in which to do this. Once you ask for reconsideration your file is passed to a different individual than the one who made the initial decision. At this stage the chances of being granted approval are slim, perhaps five percent of applications that are reconsidered are actually approved.
Hearing: If you are of the opinion that you are disabled, you will want to take the appeals process further. Once again, you have 60 days to request a hearing in the presence of an administrative law judge. Unfortunately, the lines are long, at last count there were over three-quarters of a million applicants waiting for their hearing. When you finally do reach the point where you are called, when you go into the hearing accompanied by a seasoned disability lawyer in Evanston the chances of success are greater. In Illinois 65% of applicants are denied at the first level, 89% denied at the second level and nationally the Administrative Law Judges are now passing 59% of the cases they hear – with a larger percentage winning who have representation.
Appeals Council: If you feel the administrative law judge was mistaken you can petition the appeals council to review your case. This council does not automatically review every request if they find that there is a flaw they will either review the case themselves or send it back to another administrative law judge.
Federal lawsuit: This is the final level that is available. Your disability lawyer in Evanston can file a lawsuit in US federal court. This appeal is rarely taken, it is expensive and time-consuming although; about one-third of all cases that reach this point are remanded by the district court judge.