Appeal a Social Security Disability Case in North Carolina
Applying for Social Security Disability requires organization and patience. New computer systems will eventually expedite claims. While divisions adapt to systems like QDD (Quick Disability Determination), they are also addressing backlogs of applications, sometimes causing disability claim delays in North Carolina and around the country.
Time is of the essence when a Social Security Disability claim is denied. Applicants have 60 days to file an appeal, and the applicant may completely lose their right to appeal if they fail to appeal within this short window of time. At the very least, contact our disability lawyers in Raleigh to learn all your options.
Your medical condition may have improved and the Social Security Administration may not recognize that you still have a disability. Without the proper paperwork, a truly disabled person may not show adequate evidence of their disability and their claim may be denied.
When a Social Security Disability application is denied, our Raleigh disability lawyers can help you understand why, ensure you meet critical deadlines, and gather sufficient evidence for your claim. There are four stages in the appeals process:
- Reconsideration. The applicant is not necessarily present during this stage of the appeals process. This is when the applicant has the ability to submit new evidence for review. Also, no party involved with the initial denial is part of the reconsideration process, so applicants have a completely objective party reviewing their claim.
- Hearing by an administrative law judge. If reconsideration still results in a denied claim for disability benefits, the next step is a hearing with an administrative law judge—one who was not part of the deciding members of the initial claim denial nor the reconsideration. In addition to new evidence, applicants have the ability to bring witnesses. At this stage of the appeals process, medical expert witnesses can explain complex health issues and how these have impacted the applicant’s life. These hearings are held via video conference or at a court within 75 miles of the applicant’s home.
- Review by the Appeals Council. If a denied claim still requires an appeal at this stage, the Appeals Council may decide your claim is denied or that your claim may proceed to Federal court. In some cases, the Appeals Council will make their own decision about the claim, which may enforce benefits for the applicant and prevent a lengthy court process.
- Federal Court review. After repeated denials throughout the appeals process, the last step for applicants is to file a lawsuit in federal district court. The court procedures, documentation, and deadlines can be overwhelming, which is why many Social Security Disability claimants who have been denied choose to retain an SSDI lawyer.
If you have been handling your claim on your own from the beginning, you may become frustrated with the appeals system. No matter where you are in the appeals process, check with our disability lawyers in Raleigh. Our attorneys can help you at any stage of the process.