It is not uncommon for Alabama residents to assume that when they need disability, all they need to do is apply with the Social Security Administration and wait for their benefits to come in. However, as we at the Law Offices of Clark, James, Hanlin & Hunt, LLC, are aware, the process of applying for disability benefits is not this simple. In fact, your claim is likely to be denied the first time you apply for benefits. You are entitled to appeal a denial, but the appeals process can be complex and involves specific steps and deadlines.
The Social Security Administration admits on its website that denials are common, since there are certain requirements to receiving disability benefits that many applicants fail to meet. For example, they may suffer from a disability that does not prevent them from working in a different capacity. Others may attempt to take advantage of the disability system, which requires you to prove that you are fully disabled and unable to work. To do so, you must have sufficient medical documents proving your disability.
Typically, the appeals process involves four steps. After an initial denial of your claim, you can apply to have your claim reconsidered by a different person. Following that, you may request an administrative hearing. A review by the Appeals Council would follow, and the final appeals step involves your claim being reviewed by the federal court. You may provide additional documentation to support your claim during these steps.
The process for applying and appealing a disability claim may seem complex, as our website explains. Fortunately, you can enlist the assistance of an experienced advocate.