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Understanding the Social Security Disability Appeals Process


Our firm is focused on relieving the hardship experienced by our clients either through experienced representation in personal injury matters or by helping you apply for needed workers’ compensation or Social Security benefits.

With personal injury or benefit assistance programs, knowledge of the process is of primary importance. Part of what we do is help you understand what happens, what you can expect and what steps you should take.

When applying for Social Security Disability programs, determining eligibility and disability are key. The Social Security Administration (SSA) compares your disability with its strict definition as follows:

  • Are you able to do the work you did before?
  • Can you adapt to different work?
  • Will your disability last a year or more or end your life?

More than half of all claims for Social Security Disability (SSD) are denied on initial application. There are many reasons for denial including insufficient proof of disability or lack of work credits, among others.

When you are denied SSD benefits to which you are entitled, we help you through the appeals process that includes the following:

  • Within 60 days of receiving a letter of denial of claims, we initiate a request for reconsideration of your claim. We look for insufficiencies in your original application to understand why it was denied. Your claim is then evaluated by a reviewer unfamiliar with your initial application. Most claims that don’t include additional information are still denied at the reconsideration stage.
  • If your reconsideration is denied, we request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Held in person or by video, we represent you during the meeting. Many petitioners find success at the hearing stage.
  • If your claim remains denied by the ALJ, you can apply for review by the Social Security Appeals Council and beyond in the federal court system.

When you face hardship, Stipe Law Firm has the experience and resources to help you through. Speak to one of our disability attorneys if considering an SSD claim.