It is unfortunately quite common in Sandy Springs for those applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to having their initial applications denied by the Social Security Administration. In many cases, the denial is not due to lack of qualifications but because the applicant did not take the right steps to demonstrate eligibility.
A Sandy Springs SSI denial lawyer could assist if you have been denied benefits, or if you are starting the application process and want to ensure that you do not jeopardize a claim. A qualified SSI attorney could provide advice and advocate on your behalf to give your claim a higher chance of success.
When the Social Security Administration (SSA) issues a decision denying SSI benefits, the agency sends a letter that explains the reason for the decision. It is important to pay close attention to this letter because addressing the concerns in the letter will provide grounds for reversing the decision.
The first stage in the appeals process is known as a reconsideration. During a reconsideration, agency staff members will review the file to determine whether the initial decision complied with guidelines. While the chances of receiving a different result after revision are slim, this step must be completed before moving onto the next stage.
The applicant must request reconsideration online or file a Request for Reconsideration form within 60 days of receiving the denial. Applicants can also submit additional evidence to be reviewed during the reconsideration.
If the agency staff members deny benefits upon reconsideration, the applicant may request a hearing before an administrative law judge. In many cases, the hearing provides the best opportunity to receive benefits because judges are not held to the same standards in applying guidelines as the SSA staff reviewing applications.
Although the hearing is an informal proceeding, many applicants elect to have their interests represented by a Sandy Springs SSI denial lawyer. The hearing is often the last opportunity to present new evidence, and an experienced advocate could help ensure that the best possible evidence is available for the judge’s consideration. An advocate can also help with meeting deadlines, following rules regarding the submission of evidence, and other concerns.
Many applicants believe the hearing is their last chance to receive a positive outcome, but there are two more phases of appeal. First, an applicant or a Sandy Springs SSI denial lawyer could request a review by the Social Security Appeals Council.
If the Council decides that the judge’s decision should not be reviewed or overturned, the applicant may file an appeal in federal court. The applicant must exhaust all administrative remedies before taking the case to federal court.
While receiving a letter denying SSI benefits may be disheartening; in many cases, a denial is just a necessary step in the process of obtaining benefits. Appeals of denials often succeed, particularly at the hearing level.
However, the procedures involved can be confusing, and insufficient or improperly submitted evidence could provide grounds for continued denials. Therefore, if your claim for SSI benefits was denied, it is a good idea to consult a knowledgeable Sandy Springs SSI denial lawyer. Call today to discuss your claim.
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.