Winter Haven Social Security Appeals Attorneys Assisting Clients Appeal Claims That Were Denied by the SSA
While a vast majority of SSDI applications for new benefits end up being denied, that does not mean you have reached the end of the road. Our Winter Haven SSDI appeals attorneys give you the answers you need about filing an appeal with the SSA to secure your benefits.
What Should I Do if My SSDI Claim Was Denied?
If you received a notice explaining that your initial request for SSDI benefits was denied, or your current benefits are being modified or terminated, you may take the first steps to initiate an appeal. This is called a Request for Reconsideration. This is also a good opportunity to gather as much documentation and evidence in your favor as possible because you will need to strengthen your case and demonstrate that you are indeed eligible for benefits due to a disability or illness.
You will have 60 days from the date when you first received your denial notice to initiate your appeal, but current benefit holders only have 10 days to initiate an appeal while retaining their previous benefit amount while the appeal is being processed. An attorney can help you understand exactly how much time you have to act and the kind of documentation you will need to support your case.
What Are the Steps in a Florida SSDI Appeal Process?
Similar to other states, the Florida appeal process typically consists of four main stages. First, you will file a Request for Reconsideration after being notified of the SSA decision to deny your claim. Then, you will have an opportunity to have a hearing before an administrative law judge to present your case for reconsideration and bring additional evidence to support your claim. The majority of applicants see positive results at this stage, with most appeals in front of an administrative law judge resulting in benefits being granted.
If your request is denied during this initial hearing, you may escalate your case to the Appeals Council. You will first need to present supporting evidence to convince the Appeals Council to review your case. If they agree, they can then decide whether to overturn the ALJ decision and approve your claim or refer it back to the ALJ for an additional hearing. If you are still unable to receive a positive decision, you may resort to filing a civil action with the U.S. District Court within 60 days of receiving a determination from the Appeals Council.
How Long Will the Social Security Disability Appeal Process Take in Florida?
Filing an SSDI appeal can be a lengthy and slow-moving process, depending on the location where you live and the processing times of the local OHO (Office of Hearings Operations), which is the administrative agency that handles SSDI hearings in Florida. Wait times for an appeal can range from only 330 days (if you reside in an area under the Fort Myers OHO Office) all the way to 680+ days for the Tampa, FL OHO locations. Once your appeal is in motion and your first hearing with an ALJ takes place, it may take up to eight weeks for a decision to be made.
Those cases requiring escalation to the Appeals Council will likely take just under a year to receive a decision. Cases involving a civil lawsuit in a Federal court can easily take at least one year or more before a decision is made.
How Can an Attorney Assist Me With My SSDI Appeal?
As you can see, the SSDI appeal process is lengthy and laborious. An attorney can be an essential asset in helping you put together a strong appeal case so you can receive a positive decision without having to escalate your case to the Appeals Council or a Federal court. At Jiles Law, P.A., we handle all the red tape and complexities of an SSDI appeal for you and work hard to make your case go as smoothly as possible. If you need to file an SSDI appeal or have questions, contact us at 863-875-6900.