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Even if you meet every eligibility requirement for Supplemental Security Income, successfully applying for this type of benefit through the Social Security Administration is rarely a straightforward process. Even a small mistake or missing piece of information in your application could lead to a rejection, and subsequently a loss of the benefits and loss of time.
Fortunately, in these scenarios, help is available from a knowledgeable Norwalk SSI appeals lawyer who has overseen numerous successful appellate procedures. Achieving a positive outcome from an appeal without professional help is very challenging for an individual applicant—which is why it is crucial to contact an SSI attorney as soon as possible after a claim denial.
The first step in the SSI appeals process is filing for reconsideration, which is done by submitting a formal request to the state agency, and medical reviewers who were not involved with the initial application to reexamine it. The new evaluator will review the appellant’s original submission, as well as any additional evidence or documentation included with the appeal, and hopefully make a more favorable decision. There are a few different ways to go about requesting a reconsideration, each of which a Norwalk SSI appeals attorney could explain in further detail.
If an SSI application was denied because the SSA claims the individual did not provide sufficient evidence to qualify for benefits on medical grounds, legal counsel could help request a reconsideration due to disability. Alternatively, if a submission is rejected for any non-medical reason, the applicant may file for non-medical reconsideration. Both medical and non-medical reconsideration appeals can be filed online, or by mail or fax by filling out and submitting paper copies of the relevant forms.
If the SSA’s reconsideration submission also results in an unfavorable outcome for an applicant, the next step of the appeals process is to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. The ALJ assigned to a particular case will have had no interaction with the application or applicant beforehand, and the hearing they oversee may proceed by phone, online, or as is most commonly done, in person.
If the ALJ issues an unfavorable ruling or dismisses the appeal, the appellant may then request a review of that judge’s decision by the SSA Appeals Council, which consists of three members and operates within the Office of Appellate Operations within the SSA’s Office of Analytics, Review, and Oversight. While the Appeals Council does consider in good faith every request it receives, it will not grant the appeal if it finds the ALJ’s decision was consistent with relevant federal regulations and laws.
The final stage in the SSI appeals process is filing a civil suit in a federal district court against the Social Security Administration. This is the only type of appeal that cannot be requested or filed online, which makes assistance from a skilled SSI appeals lawyer in Norwalk especially valuable.
While there are numerous options for appealing an unfavorable decision on an SSI application, not all of them are available in every situation. Furthermore, even if you are eligible to appeal the SSA’s verdict on your petition, doing so in accordance with federal law can be an extremely complex and a document-heavy endeavor.
Put simply, you should think twice before trying to pursue this course of action without first retaining a seasoned SSI appeals lawyer. Schedule your initial consultation by calling today.