Social Security Denials and Reconsiderations
The Fort Lauderdale Social Security denials lawyers at Anidjar and Levine are industry leaders in helping social security applicants through the appeals process. We have extensive experience achieving favorable outcomes for clients who were initially denied benefits. Our firm provides detailed and individualized services to clients throughout Florida.
Social Security benefits are critical to individuals who cannot perform gainful employment due to age, blindness, or disability. While age and blindness can feel “unexpected,” it is disabling impairments that catch most people off guard. Even young workers and healthy adults are vulnerable to accidental injuries that prevent them from work. This “surprise” factor is reflected in the massive number of applications received by the Social Security Administration (SSA) each year. Most people simply do not “plan” to become disabled or out of work.
The SSA administers two programs that provide financial benefits to disabled and low-income applicants: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Insurance. But like many benefit programs, an overwhelming number of applications for Social Security are denied. The SSA denies over 60% of disability claims each year. Fortunately, there is an appeals process through which claimants can seek review. The four stages of appeal include:
- Administrative hearing
- Review before the Appeals Council
- Lawsuit in federal court
SSA denials do not reflect the validity of your claim. Many times, it just takes some professional know-how to usher you through the appeals process and improve your chances of obtaining relief. Because appeals are highly technical and complex, it is important to have a knowledgeable South Florida Social Security attorney who can speed up the process and improve your chances of getting your claim approved. A dedicated representative can also help you avoid costly mistakes that result in a perpetual “rubberstamping” of the initial denial.
In order to reach the first stage of appeal, reconsideration, you must submit a request form within 60 days from the day you received the denial letter. During reconsideration, your application is reviewed by another person who was not involved with the initial decision. At this stage, you have an opportunity to present additional information that supports your claim.
If your claim is denied during reconsideration, the next step is to request a hearing with an administrative law judge. Most judges want and expect you to obtain legal representation at this stage of the process. Your Fort Lauderdale Social Security attorney will help you comply with the judge’s requests for additional documents and knows how to present this evidence in the most favorable light. During the hearing, your lawyer can also elicit testimony from witnesses and medical experts to further your claim.
If the judge denies your claim, you can appeal the decision by requesting review before the Social Security Appeals Council. The Appeals Council may decline to review your claim but also has discretion to send the matter back to the administrative law judge.
The law requires that you go through all of these steps to “exhaust” administrative remedies. This is to ensure applicants go through the proper procedures before filing suit in federal court. Once you have exhausted all these options, the last course of action is to have your claim reviewed by a judge in federal court. As in any court proceeding, it is imperative to have competent legal representation at every hearing.
If your application for Social Security benefits was denied, the experienced Fort Lauderdale reconsideration attorneys of Anidjar & Levine can help. The administrative appeals process is an intensely technical, deadline-driven gauntlet that requires the assistance of a qualified attorney. At Anidjar & Levine, we have successfully handled numerous appeals, from reconsideration to favorable verdicts in federal court. Our skilled professionals will guide you through the review process and help you obtain the benefits you deserve. Call (800) 747-FREE for a free consultation or contact us online.