Approximately 80% of applications for Social Security Disability benefits are initially denied. If you fall into this category, don’t worry! Being denied SSDI in Virginia is not the end of the world. You have the right to appeal the decision. It is important to read the denial letter carefully, as the letter will explain why you were denied. After you read the letter here are the steps you’ll want to take:
1) File an appeal right away.
You need to file an appeal as soon as possible after being denied. In fact, you are required to file the appeal within 60 days of the denial notice, but it is best to do it sooner. If this is your first denial, you will need to file a Request for Reconsideration.
2) Request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
After you file your first appeal, you will enter into the Reconsideration phase. If you are denied during this stage you will need to file a request for Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This is your opportunity to appear in person.
3) Request review by the Appeals Council.
If your claim is denied during the ALJ hearing stage, you still have the right to appeal. You can appeal to Social Security’s Appeals Council. This appeal is done in writing, you do not appear. The Appeals Council can “remand” your case back to the ALJ if they made a mistake. They can also reverse decisions in some cases. It can, however, take around a year for the Appeals Council to reach a decision.
4) Federal Court appeal.
If your claim is denied by Social Security’s Appeals Council, the last step is to file an appeal in Federal Court.
Filing for Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI) in Virginia can be a long, complicated, and frustrating process. If your claim has been denied, you should hire an attorney as soon as possible. We invite you to contact the Fairfax, Virginia, Social Security Disability Law Firm at (571) 328-5795.