It is not uncommon to see Social Security Disability Claims denied the first time around, but all is not lost. You have the right to make an appeal for a denied claim if you feel that the decision made by the Social Security Administration (SSA) was incorrect.
Typically there are four levels of appeal which include:
- Administrative Law Judge Hearing
- Appeals Council Review
- Federal Court
As experienced Social Security Disability Attorneys; Erwin, McCane and Daily can help you with your SSI or SSDI Claim appeal.
Process of Social Security Disability Claim Appeal in New York
Most states require a Reconsideration Appeal as the first step in the Appeal Process however, New York State is one of the few “Prototype” states which have eliminated the Reconsideration Appeal step and made the hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) the first step of the appeal process.
1st Level of Appeal – ALJ Hearing
After an initial disability claim in New York has been denied, there is the option to pursue SSI Disability by beginning the Appeal Process. The first step is to request a hearing before an ALJ. This appeal will place the claimant and a vocational expert in an informal hearing before a judge who will question the claimant, vocational expert(s) (witnesses) as well as examine and review the claim and newly submitted medical evidence.
- Disability Claims are time sensitive, as are appeals. Upon denial of a disability claim in New York State, there is a period of 60 days (from the date of the denial letter) in which an appeal request must be made.
- During an appeal you have the opportunity to submit new evidence to your claim (within 10 days of filing the request). It is important to keep track of all your medical records throughout the claim process. This includes appointments with doctors, medications, therapies, surgeries, diagnostic tests, etc. so the most up to date medical records are available for the judge’s review.
2nd Level of Appeal – Appeals Council Review
If an ALJ Hearing results in a denial, you are still eligible to appeal the Judge’s decision through an Appeals Council (AC) Review request. The Appeals Council, if your request for appeal is granted, will appoint an Administrative Appeals Judge to determine if there was fault in the decision made by the ALJ.
- The Appeals Council has a limited number of judges who preside over these cases nationally, the process of an appeal through the AC can be lengthy.
- The AC will either find the ALJ to have been at fault in their decision making and send the case back to the ALJ for another review, overturn the decision and make it themselves or deny your claim.
- An appeal to the Appeals Council must be made within 60 days of receiving an Administrative Hearing decision.
3rd Level of Appeal – Federal Court
If an AC Review denies your Social Security Disability claim you can still file a civil suit in a Federal U.S. District court New York State.
- This last level of appeal can be both timely and costly. We at Erwin, McCane and Daly highly recommend that you pursue the assistance of an experienced Social Security Disability Lawyer if you choose to file a suit the Federal Court.
Learn more about your Rights to Appeal here – https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10058.pdf