Initial denial on a Social Security disability claim is frequent. The Social Security Administration has developed an appeals process that allows for reconsideration on several levels. A Fresno disability lawyer can assist you in filing and pursuing an appeal, and indeed this is one way of ensuring that you not will inadvertently miss very stringent time limits for doing so.
The Four Levels of the Claims Process
Your application may move through as many as four levels as you seek approval on your claim:
• Initial determination from the original application
• Reconsideration – the first appeal
• Hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ)
• Appeals Council review
Once you and your Fresno disability lawyer exhaust this process, your alternative is to work with your Fresno disability lawyer to file your appeal in federal court.
It may help to think of the number 60 for Social Security appeals. In all but one case the claimant has 60 days to appeal from the date the denial is received by mail. Since it is assumed you will have the denial in your hands five days after the decision is rendered, this amounts to 65 actual calendar days.
However, once a claim has been sent to federal court, if a remand is issued back to the Appeals Council level, the limit of time for filing is much more brief—30 days. Note that it is extremely important that your appeal is filed within these time constraints. Failure to do so could mean starting the application process all over.
If you have become disabled and cannot work for at least 12 months, you may be able to receive Social Security disability benefits. A strong Fresno disability lawyer can help, especially during the appeals process.