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The Process: Appealing Your Denied SSI/SSDI Claim

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Can I Use a Lawyer to Help Me apply for SSI/SSDI benefits?

Applying for Social Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) can be complex, time consuming and overwhelming. That is why anyone who is entitled to receive benefits should consult a skilled professional to help them navigate the process. There is no reason to engage this process alone. The law allows you to have a qualified representative to assist you through this process

Can I Appeal the Denial of My Claim for Benefits?

If you are one of a small group of claimants who are approved at the initial stage, congratulations! Most of initial benefits claims are denied, so you should feel special. For the rest of you whose initial claim is denied, all is not lost. You may appeal the administration’s decision denying your claim. Yes, denied claims may be appealed. As a general matter, after your initial claim is denied there are four levels of appeal; the first level is called “Reconsideration” where your case will be reviewed. If the administration denies your reconsideration, you can ask for a hearing before an administrative law judge; and if the judge affirms the denial of your claim, you can then ask for a review of your case before the Appeal Council; and if necessary Federal Court will review your case if the decision to deny your claim is affirmed by the Appeal Council. Requests for an appeal must be done within 60 days from the date you receive your denial letter. It is assumed that the denial letter will reach you within five days after the date on the letter. So, be mindful that you can lose your entitlement to benefits if you miss filing deadlines.

For more information visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10141.pdf

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