Appealing a Denied Social Security Claim
The Social Security Appeals Process
If your claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits or Social Security Supplemental Income (SSI) benefits has been denied in Michigan, you are not alone. Many claims are denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA) every year. You can appeal a denied Social Security claim and fight to get the benefits you need.
If your application for SSI has been denied, or you believe you were not compensated properly, you may appeal the decision by filing a written request within 60 days of receiving the decision letter. There are four levels of appeal through which your claim could proceed:
Reconsideration: After your initial application for benefits has been denied, your attorney will file a request for reconsideration. During this stage, a claims examiner who was not involved in the initial review process will reconsider your application. They will take into consideration any new evidence that you or your attorney have uncovered to supplement your claim. Your attorney can respond, on your behalf, to any questions posed by the claims examiner during this stage. This process can take three to five months to complete and less than fifteen percent of appeals will be approved during this stage of appeals process.
Hearing: You have sixty days from the date of your denied reconsideration request to ask the SSA for a hearing. When you request a hearing, your case will be examined by an administrative law judge. During this stage, your attorney may prepare you for questions that could be asked at your hearing; request the judge to subpoena witnesses vital to proving the legitimacy of your claim; argue your case before the judge; question witnesses and experts; present new evidence or information you believe was not reviewed properly; and, if you have already been awarded benefits, ask the judge to review and reassess the calculations.
Appeals Council: If you are dissatisfied with the judge’s determination, you may ask for a review by the Social Security Appeals Council. The Council reviews all requests, but is not required to grant you another hearing. If you are granted a review, your case will either be resolved or sent back to another administrative judge for review. If your case is sent to another Administrative Law Judge, your attorney will repeat the steps taken during the initial hearing. It is important to understand that fewer than 2 percent of Social Security Disability cases are won at this stage of the appeal process. The review by the Appeals Council will usually take between six months to one year to complete.
Federal Court: If your claim is not chosen for review in front of an ALJ, or if you do not agree with the Appeal Council’s decision, you may choose to file a lawsuit, with the help of your attorney, in federal district court. The Federal District Court can approve or deny your claim for Social Security Disability benefits or they may send your case back to the SSA for further review. Thirty percent of appeals are decided in favor of the applicant at this stage of the disability claims process.
Experienced Attorneys Preparing Your Case and Advocating on Your Behalf
If your application for Social Security benefits has been denied — whether or not our law firm helped you prepare it — our attorneys can request a hearing on your behalf, work with your doctors to build the evidence in support of your claim, and represent you at the hearing.
Unlike some law firms that handle Social Security disability claims, Baldwin Legal Services PLLC does not have non-lawyer claims representatives representing clients at hearings. If you hire our firm to help you with your claim, you will be represented at your Social Security hearing by a qualified and licensed attorney.
If you’re denied Social Security Disability benefits, don’t give up! It is absolutely frustrating when you know you cannot work but the government still denies your case. The process to appeal can be long and tedious, but success is possible. For a free consultation and to find out more about how we can help, call 877-886-1441. SSI cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. That means, no out-of-pocket expenses for you. The Social Security Administration pays our fee directly if we win your case.