The vast majority of applications — 70 percent according to some statistics — for SSD and SSI benefits are denied after the initial filing. It’s important not to lose heart, however, because many of these requests for benefits are later approved. Choosing experienced and knowledgeable attorneys, like the Social Security lawyers at JP Law, can help you get the benefits you deserve sooner.
In most states, reconsideration is the first step in the SSDI appeals process — it is sometimes called the “first appeal”. If your initial application is denied, you have the right to understand why and to question the decision. Ideally, this is the phase at which you would seek legal help: The sooner you begin working with a lawyer, the smoother your process will be.
It is important to keep an eye on the calendar at this stage. You have just 60 days from the time you receive your decision to file your request for reconsideration. This request may be completed online if you filed online. As with your initial application, you can also call the SSA, or visit your local office.
While SSDI is a federally-funded program, there are some differences in how states handle claims. One of these differences involves the removal of the reconsideration step from the appeals process, so that a denial is followed directly by an ALJ hearing.
Ten states are engaged in a pilot project to test this new process, including two states we serve: Alaska and California (Los Angeles North and Los Angeles West Branches only). If you live in these areas, it’s important to choose a lawyer who understands how this modified procedure operates.
Based in Portland, Oregon, the experienced and knowledgeable lawyers at JP Law, PC, know what it takes to get you the benefits you’re entitled to receive. We understand how to gather the necessary evidence, and know the rules specific to your state. We are also compassionate lawyers who will listen to your story and respond to your concerns.
We offer free consultations, and you pay no fees unless we secure your disability benefits. To get the help you deserve, call 503-245-6309 (or toll free 866-945-1978). You can also use our online contact form to tell us about your situation. Whatever your case, we’ll support you through the entire process.