Social Security Disability Claims Process
A Social Security Disability claim may be filed through your local Social Security office, online via the Internet or by telephone. The applicable address and phone number for the Social Security District Office in your area is located in the government section of your local telephone book. The Social Security attorneys at Jan Kodner & Associates can assist in the completion of much of the Social Security disability appeal paperwork. Completion of the “Disability Report” at this early stage is especially crucial to proper development of the issues in a disability case.
What happens after your Social Security claim is filed?
1. The Social Security Administration will send your case to a State Disability Determination Agency to gather additional information and to make an initial determination on your claim. In Illinois, the agency is located in Springfield.
2. The Social Security disability benefit case is assigned to an adjudicator. The adjudicator may arrange to have you seen by an independent medical examiner. She may send you forms to complete which describe your activities and problems. She should obtain records and ask your doctor for a report.
3. If the claim is denied, a Request for Reconsideration may be filed. The Reconsideration is sent back to the same State Agency, but given to a different Adjudicator. If the Reconsideration is denied for your Social Security disability benefit claim, a Request for Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge may then be filed.
The Administrative Law Judge Hearing
The Administrative Law Judge is independent from all other persons at the Social Security Administration who have considered your case to that point. In some cases, the ALJ may respond to written argument by the representative and approve the claim without a hearing. If a hearing is necessary, it will be conducted at a local hearing office. You and your attorney will be present. Sometimes a vocational expert or medical advisor is called by the ALJ as well to help development of the medical and vocational aspects of your case. You and your attorney have the opportunity to cross examine the witnesses and to present arguments to the Judge.
If the Administrative Law Judge denies the claim, in most States, a further review may be taken to the Appeals Council. If the Appeals Council denies your Request for Review, the Social Security disability case may be appealed to the United States court system.
Social Security Disability Claim and Appeal Deadlines
At all levels of the Social Security claim, the deadline for submitting an appeal is 60 days from the date the notice has been received. The Social Security Administration will assume that the notice was received within five days from the date appearing on the notice. An appeal may be accepted after 65 days from the denial date only if good cause is demonstrated.
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