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Published on Sep 10, 2008 by Edgar Snyder

The Social Security Disability Claims Process: What to do if Your Claim is Denied

Claim Denied

This is part of an ongoing series of Social Security Disability posts from Attorney Dennis Liotta, partner and the manager of our law firm's Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability Departments.

If you think that your Social Security Disability claim has been wrongfully denied, you can appeal the decision. The most important thing to remember about SSD benefits appeals is that you only have 60 days after denial to file the an appeal.

After your first appeal, you can present your case at an administrative hearing. The hearing will be held by an administrative law judge, who will ask you a variety of questions and listen to information on your medical history, work history, and other important topics. There may also be a vocational expert present to render an expert opinion as to whether or not you can work. During the hearing, the judge will take the following five important questions into account:

  • Are you currently engaged in substantial, gainful work?
  • If you are not currently performing substantial, gainful work, is your physical or mental medical condition considered medically severe enough to be called a disability?
  • Has your condition lasted, or is it expected to last, for a continuous period of at least one year, and does it meet or medically equal a listed impairment?
  • Does your condition prevent you from working in your established profession?
  • Does your condition prevent you from working in any other profession in which positions are available?

If the administrative hearing doesn't get you the results you're looking for, your case can be taken to the Appeals Council for further review. If you still aren't successful, you can file a civil suit in Federal District Court.

All of these options can be overwhelming, so in my next post I will give you information that will help you determine when and if you need an attorney for your SSD claim.

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