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‘I Filed My Disability Appeal…Now What?’

2012 May 2

By Ed of Allsup

Social Security Disability RepresentationHas your Social Security disability claim been denied, leaving you frustrated and confused about the appeal process? Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can be complicated and the appeal procedure can indeed be tricky. Some things you might like to know:

What’s the next step?

  • If Allsup is your claim representative, if it’s an initial denial, we’ll appeal your claim to the reconsideration level.
  • If it’s an initial denial in a state that skips the reconsideration, it goes to the hearing level. This happens in Alabama, Alaska, parts of California, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York and Pennsylvania.
  • If you are denied at the reconsideration level, your claim is appealed to the hearing level.

How long does the next appeal take?

  • Generally, it takes about three to five months for the SSA to make a disability decision at the reconsideration level.
  • At the hearing level, it may take anywhere from six months up to 18 months to schedule a hearing.

What are my chances at the step?

The SSA regularly reports their rates for awarding claims at each level.

  • If your claim reaches the reconsideration level, the SSA approves disability benefits on a mere 12 percent of cases.
  • If your claim reaches the hearing level, the SSA approves disability benefits 58 percent of the time.

Why was my friend awarded at this level but I wasn’t?

  • No two claims for disability benefits are the same.
  • Remember that you have specific information unique to you—your work history, past jobs, medical condition, treating physicians, medical records and more.
  • The SSA follows strict guidelines when making decisions and review important factors: medical evidence from doctors, a claimant’s age and work history, and a claimant’s current level of functioning.
  • Don’t compare your case to a friend’s, even if you have the same diagnosis, because their medical records and work history could be dramatically different than yours.

We know how intimidating and stressful the appeal process can be. You will have a better chance of getting your benefits and usually sooner if you have Allsup as your representative, especially at the application, reconsideration and hearing levels.

We want to answer your questions and not leave you in the dark. We’re here to help. If you don’t have a representative and you would like information about hiring a representative for your disability appeal, call (800) 279-4357. Find more information about the SSDI process online at http://www.allsup.com/about-ssdi/ssdi-process.aspx. If you’re currently an Allsup customer, you can find more details online by visiting Allsup Place.

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