When you have a disability that renders you unable to work, SSDI benefits could provide the necessary assistance. This assistance can enable you to meet you and your family’s daily needs.
If your claim for SSDI benefits was denied, you have opportunities to appeal the decision, but time to file an appeal is limited. A Marietta SSDI appeals lawyer could explain the procedures and help you take the steps necessary to continue to pursue your claim for benefits. By working with an experienced SSDI attorney, you can give your application the best chance of success.
SSDI, which stands for Social Security Disability Insurance, is a program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and funded by Social Security taxes paid by employees. Workers pay into the insurance program through payroll taxes so that if they become disabled and lose the ability to work, they may receive benefits to make up part of their lost wages.
Although disabled workers file SSDI claims with the federal SSA office, Marietta claims are processed through Georgia Disability Adjudication Services. SSDI claims are then processed under strict SSA guidelines. In many cases, the agency denies claims initially, but applicants later receive benefits after an appeal. For more information, reach out to an SSDI appeals lawyer in Marietta.
The first decision in an SSDI application is referred to as an initial determination. An applicant who receives a denial on the initial determination may file a request for reconsideration, so long as that request is made within 60 days.
In reconsideration, different agency staff will review the records to determine whether they believe the finding adheres to agency rules. If the reconsideration also results in a denial, the claimant may further appeal by requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge.
The hearing provides a chance for an applicant to present additional evidence and arguments directly to the judge. In many cases, this is the last opportunity to submit new evidence, so it is essential to acquire, preserve, and present as much evidence as possible to support the claim for benefits.
Both the person seeking benefits and the agency that denied the claim may present witnesses to testify. The judge and the opposing party may question those witnesses. Very often the SSA will bring in testimony from medical experts and vocational experts regarding the extent of the disability and the job functions that could be performed by the claimant.
If the hearing does not result in a favorable outcome, the decision may be appealed for review by the Appeals Council. However, the Appeals Council may decline to review the case if it finds the judge’s decision fits with agency guidelines. Finally, if the Appeals Council declines to review a case or issues a denial, the SSDI claim may be appealed to federal court.
The process of applying for SSDI benefits and seeking reconsideration of decisions appears deceptively simple on the SSA website. In reality, the agency will want to find certain types of evidence showing specific findings of disability to award benefits.
At a hearing, the judge may not adhere to the same strict guidelines, but applicants must abide by rules and present evidence in a persuasive, straightforward, and complete manner to succeed. An experienced Marietta SSDI appeals lawyer can be tremendously helpful throughout the process.
Whether filling out paperwork and meeting deadlines or arguing in front of the judge, an advocate who knows how to demonstrate eligibility for SSDI benefits could work to make your best case. Call now to discuss your situation.
With offices in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Marietta, we provide legal assistance to people throughout Georgia and the Southeast in all matters of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
We are ready to help you, and offer multiple ways to reach us.