January 09, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Appealing a claim for disability
People in New Jersey who live with disabilities may be eligible for financial assistance from the federal Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income programs. Receiving assistance is not automatic, and for some people it can be a long road.
What to do when a claim is denied
The first step in obtaining help from SSDI or SSI is to file a claim. The Social Security Administration will decide whether or not to grant benefits and will inform the claimant by mail. The letter will explain reasons for denying a claim if the benefits are denied.
If SSA denies an applicant's claim, that is not the end of the process. It is possible to appeal the decision. The letter from SSA denying the claim includes instructions on how to proceed with an appeal.
There are four possible levels to proceed through in the course of pursuing an SSDI or SSI appeal. First, the applicant can ask for reconsideration.
Reconsideration and hearing
Reconsideration involves having SSA review the applicant's file thoroughly. Someone who did not originally make the decision to deny the claim is assigned the case and looks through the information the applicant submitted when initially filing the claim. There may also be additional materials to support the claim, such as updated doctor's records.
Usually the reconsideration does not require that the applicant meet with anyone from SSA, but under some circumstances a meeting can be helpful. For someone who had been receiving benefits but who SSA believes has recovered to a point when benefits are no longer needed, it is possible to talk in person with a representative and explain the situation further.
If benefits are denied after reconsideration, the applicant can ask for a hearing by an administrative law judge. The hearing is similar to a courtroom proceeding with testimony from witnesses. Witnesses might include specialists, like doctors and vocational counselors. Some hearings are held remotely, using video feeds and screens, and some take place with everyone in a hearing room
The applicant can submit additional evidence and written statements to SSA for the judge to review before the hearing.
Applicants are entitled to have a representative to help with an appeal. A New Jersey attorney who specializes in SSDI and SSI claims is an excellent choice as a representative. The attorney will know the type of evidence that can be most convincing and assist the applicant in communicating clearly about the disability.
Even if an applicant does not succeed in gaining benefits through reconsideration and a hearing, further steps are possible. The attorney can apply for a review by the SSA Appeals Council and possibly even file a lawsuit in federal court.
Article provided by Law Office of Dennis P. McGlinchy
Visit us at http://www.newjerseyssdattorney.com---
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