You have recently appeared before a judge and had a hearing regarding your Social Security Disability benefits; however, you received an unfavorable decision in the mail. While this is not what you were hoping for, there are options following an unfavorable decision. If you disagree with the hearing decision, there is the option to ask for a review by the Social Security Appeal’s Counsel. This is called an appeal. At Midwest Disability we have attorneys who specifically review all unfavorable decisions to determine whether there are appealable issues. While most appeals are done by attorneys, claimants may also appeal the decision themselves (pro se). When a decision is appealed, the Appeals Council will review the decision. They may deny a request if they believe the hearing decision is correct. However, the Appeals Counsel may decide the case itself or return your case to an administrative law judge for another hearing. Remanding the case to an administrative law judge for further hearing is often what happens in most cases. If you choose not to appeal the hearing decision or the Appeals Counsel denies your appeal request, you also have the option of reapplying. This would mean you would go through the Social Security Disability application process again. It is important to note how a prior unfavorable decision may affect your claim though. Generally, you cannot allege your disability began before the date of the prior unfavorable decision. For example, if you have an unfavorable decision dated September 1, 2019, you cannot allege your disability began on or before September 1, 2019. Therefore, if you reapply for benefits, you will have to at least allege disability began September 2, 2019 or later. However, there are some small exceptions and nuisances to this rule including re-opening a case. Therefore, it is important to talk through all your options with an experienced attorney who can advise you which options best fit your specific case.
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