Every year, millions of Americans begin the Social Security Disability Insurance application process. However, out of those millions of applications, only about 30% are approved at the initial stages of the claim process. There are many reasons why an SSD claim may be denied. When an initial application is denied, the applicant can submit a request for reconsideration. But is there anything that can be done if a reconsideration is denied?
Requesting a hearing
Those whose request for reconsideration is denied but believe that they qualify for benefits can request a hearing. This hearing will be held in person and in front of an Administrative Law Judge. Like any other court hearing, the judge will hear the denied applicant’s testimony and also the testimonies of witnesses or experts who can speak to the applicant’s condition. The judge will usually ask the applicant questions about his or her condition and allow the applicant to submit additional evidence.
The judge looks at the evidence and the testimonies provided, then makes a final decision regarding the appeal. An applicant’s odds of being approved for disability benefits increases substantially once they undergo a hearing. According to estimates from the Social Security Administration, about 50% of applicants are approved once a case gets to a hearing.
Help is available for those who have been denied
There are a multitude of steps in the process of applying and obtaining Social Security disability. Receiving a denial at some point is not uncommon. Fortunately, no matter where an applicant is in this process, it is never too late to consult a legal representative for help. An experienced disability lawyer can assist clients throughout with the application process and help them file an appeal if a denial is received.