Social Security Disability Lawyers
Social Security disability was designed to provide a stable income for people who are unable to support themselves due to a physical or mental disability. Unfortunately, the application process can be long and difficult. Most applicants are denied on the first application, and denied again on reconsideration. And, far too many become discouraged and drop out of the fight before receiving these critical benefits.
Attorney Brian McGovern has dedicated his legal career to fighting for people who are injured, disabled, or have lost loved ones. He understands the challenges a Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applicant faces, and knows how to navigate the appeals process.
If you’ve been denied at the initial application and Request for Reconsideration phases, it’s time to talk to an experienced disability attorney. Call 618-241-9251 right now to schedule a free consultation. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get the information and advice you need, so we offer a variety of options for your free consultation, including telephone and video conferencing or traveling to your area to meet with you in person.
Two Social Security Disability Programs
The primary Social Security disability program, SSD, works much like your regular Social Security benefits. You pay into the Social Security system through payroll withholding or self-employment taxes and build up credits. Then, if you become disabled before you reach retirement age, you can apply to begin receiving benefits.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is based on financial need, and may be available to disabled people who have not accrued sufficient credit to qualify for SSD.
The Social Security Disability Application Process
Most applicants begin the process on their own, with an initial application for disability benefits. Not every applicant goes through the whole process described below: some are approved at the initial application stage, some at the Request for Reconsideration, and so on. However, the denial rate is high in the early stages.
Step Two: Request for Reconsideration
If that application is denied, the applicant has 60 days to appeal that decision, through a process known as “Request for Reconsideration.” At the reconsideration stage, a different representative reviews the application and supporting evidence, including any new evidence submitted, and makes a fresh determination. If the Request for Reconsideration is denied, the process becomes more formal and complicated.
Step Three: Administrative Hearing
The next step is to request an Administrative Hearing. The hearing is like a mini-trial before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). At the hearing, your Social Security disability attorney will present evidence on your behalf. This may include calling witnesses. Statistically, benefits are more likely to be awarded at this stage than at the Request for Reconsideration stage.
Step Four: Appeals Council Review
If the claim is denied at the Administrative Hearing, the next step is an Appeals Council review. Much like an appellate court, the appeals council reviews the case and may affirm the denial, reverse the ALJ’s decision and grant benefits, or send the case back for a new hearing.
Step Five: Federal Court Review
If the appeals council affirms the denial, the next step is to appeal the decision in federal court. Many applicants find this daunting and drop out at or before this stage. However, about 40% of applicants who have been denied throughout the application and review process are granted benefits by the court. Thus, it is worthwhile to continue to fight for benefits to the end. Attorney Brian McGovern has extensive experience in the Social Security disability appeals process, and is prepared to fight for the benefits you need.
Talk to an Experienced Social Security Disability Attorney
It’s easy to get discouraged during the Social Security disability application and appeals process, and the more formal proceedings as a case progresses offer many opportunities for missteps. The right attorney can make all the difference.
If you’ve been denied at the Request for Reconsideration stage or further along the process, the time is right to schedule a free consultation. Just call 618-241-9251 right now.