Part 2: Your SSD and/or SSI Claim was denied. What’s next?
You have provided the Disability Determination Service (DDS) everything they have requested. You may have seen a doctor for an evaluation. You know that you can’t work but your initial application was denied. What’s next?
If your initial application is denied the next step is to file an appeal called a Request for Hearing. This must be done within 60 days of the denial date in order for your claim to move forward. The Request for Hearing informs the SSA that you do not agree with the decision and that you want to have an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) review your case, have a hearing and make a decision. The ALJ is not bound by the initial denial and takes a fresh look at the evidence. The appeal can be filed online and requests updated information regarding medical treatment and changes in your condition. Unfortunately, it is currently taking the Mobile Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) about 14 months to have a hearing from the time the Request for Hearing is filed.
There are things that can be done during this long wait to make sure your case is ready when your hearing is scheduled:
-continue to see your doctor/doctors for regular medical treatment
-follow the doctor’s treatment recommendations and take medications as prescribed
-if you have an attorney keep them updated regarding your medical treatment
-begin collecting all updated medical records
An experienced attorney will advise you of specific things that can be helpful in preparing your case for a hearing. Additionally, the attorney should collect medical records and may request statements from your doctors seeking more specific information about your limitations and restrictions. Thorough preparation is key during the long wait leading up to the scheduling of the hearing.
Part 3 of the series will discuss what happens at the hearing. I have handled thousands of SSD/SSI cases in Mobile and Baldwin County and would be happy to talk with you about your case. Cases are handled on a contingency fee basis so there is no fee unless benefits are recovered. Call today to schedule an appointment in our Mobile or Baldwin County offices. 1-251-455-5819.
Randy Walton: January 19, 2016
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