Only about 25% of the applications for Social Security disability benefits are approved, leaving most applicants to be denied. Denial is not the end of the line; in a sense, it is only the beginning. You will now be faced with appealing the decision. The appeals process includes a request for reconsideration, a hearing, and a request to the appeals council. The appeals process is complex and those applicants that hire a Social Security attorney in Oak Ridge stand a better chance of success than those that go it alone.
Request for reconsideration:
The first step in the long appeals process is to request that your initial application be reviewed and reconsidered. When this happens, your application is given to another examiner who undertakes a full review. In the event your claim is denied again, which occurs in many cases, then if you wish to continue with the process you must request a hearing.
It is at this stage of the appeals process when you should have a qualified Social Security attorney in Oak Ridge on your side. This is where most appeals are overturned but there is a great deal of preparation to be done before the hearing date.
Your attorney will gather all your medical reports, the results of various tests you have taken and a statement from your doctor. Because your attorney has attended numerous hearings, he or she knows what to expect. Your attorney will brief you on what questions you can expect to be asked and what answers the Administrative Law Judge expects to hear.
Statistically, two thirds of appeals that reach this stage are approved.
The other one third of applicants that are not granted benefits after the conclusion of the hearing can ask for an Appeals Council review. This council is looking for an abuse of discretion, a lack of evidence to support the ALJ decision or a procedure lapse. The chances of winning are slight, but it is something that must be done if you decide to challenge the decision in court.
A Social Security attorney in Oak Ridge can make a big difference in how your case is viewed by the ALJ during a hearing. To discuss your case, you are invited to contact the Law Offices of Miller & Drozdowski, P.C.