Far too many people give up when denied benefits because they feel like they have no further appeal rights. We have helped claimants get approved on a new claim even after receiving an unfavorable decision from a judge in a prior claim. If you’ve been denied by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), it’s important to know that you still have options:
- Request for Appeals Council Review: Your first step after losing the hearing is to request a review by the Appeals Council. This is the last level of the SSA appeals process. You have 60 days from the date you received the ALJ’s written decision to file this appeal. However, you may not be permitted to submit new evidence.
- Federal Court Review: The Appeals Council may decline your request or uphold the decision of the ALJ. If so, you can appeal the decision to the federal district court. This is a more complex process and typically requires legal assistance.
- New Application: If you have been denied at all levels of appeal, another option is to file a new disability claim. This may be appropriate if your condition worsens or you have a new disability. However, you should be aware that starting a new application means starting the entire process over again. It could potentially affect the amount of backpay you are eligible to receive.
Remember that many people are initially denied disability benefits and win on appeal, so don’t get discouraged.
Remember to keep in close contact with your healthcare providers.
Continue to document how your medical conditions affect your daily life and ability to work. This information can be crucial in demonstrating your disability in your appeal or new application.
Throughout this process, it can be beneficial to work with a disability lawyer. They can help navigate the system, gather necessary medical records, and obtain statements from a medical or vocational expert. They will also review your case before your hearing and develop a plan to argue your case effectively.
Don’t let an ALJ’s decision to deny your claim prevent you from pursuing the benefits you deserve. Nick Ortiz is a Board-Certified Social Security Disability attorney representing claimants across the United States. Call Ortiz Law Firm at (888) 321-8131 to schedule your free case evaluation.