Appealing A Denied Social Security Disability Claim



How to Appeal A Denied Social Security Disability Claim

Many people filing for Social Security Disability (SSD) payments or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are disheartened when their initial claim is denied. They do not realize that a majority of these applications are initially turned down. Fortunately, a denial is not necessarily the final answer.

At the Law Office of Ellene Welsh, we are prepared to appeal your SSD or SSI denial and pursue your case through an appeal to help you get the benefits you and your family need. Our firm has a strong track record of success handling SSD and SSI appeals in Douglasville, Columbus and throughout West Georgia.

Call us at 770-489-3456 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Levels of SSD and SSI Appeals

Applicants can file an initial claim at a local Social Security Administration office. If your claim is denied, speak to a skilled lawyer about the appeals process. The various levels of an appeal include:

  • Reconsideration: Filing a formal Request for Reconsideration involves gathering all relevant medical evidence and other documentation, which will be evaluated by a new Social Security administrator.
  • Hearing: If reconsideration is not successful, we will petition for a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ) who will determine whether or not you are fit to work. Experienced attorney Ellene Welsh will prepare you for this hearing and remain by your side throughout the duration of the process.
  • Appeals Council: If the administrative judge rejects your claim at the hearing, our firm will request a review by the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council.

If the administrative appeals process is not successful, you then have the option of filing a federal court appeal.

The Appeals Process

When your claim is denied, you will receive a letter that will provide the reason for the rejection of the application. It is at this point that you can begin the appeals process.

While the time for claims processing varies, it typically takes between three to five months for applicants to learn of the status of their claim. In the case of two types of claims, the SSA turnaround will be expedited. As you may have read in previous entries, Compassionate Allowances and the Quick Disability Decision allow for hastened review of claims. Other individuals who have suffered from what could be a temporary disability, such as a stroke, may not have their application reviewed for one year.

Should you receive notice of rejection of benefits, you are able to appeal the decision. These are the four steps of the process:

1. Reconsideration

In this stage, a new administrator will review the application and any new medical evidence that is provided. At this stage in the process, your presence will not be required unless you wish to meet with a representative to provide reasons that support your claim that you have a disability.

2. Hearing

In order to reduce the burden of appearing at the hearing, the SSA will select a court within 75 miles of the claimant’s home or conduct the hearing via video conference. It is expected that you will be present at this stage of the appeals process. To prepare for the hearing, the applicant is expected to review her information on file and submit any new information. During the hearing, the judge will ask questions to the claimant and any witnesses testifying. The judge’s decision will be recorded and mailed to the claimant.

3. Review by Appeals Council

Should you not find satisfaction in the rendered decision, you can appeal to the Social Security’s Appeals Council. When the council reviews appeals, it may reject any request if it believes that the judge’s conclusion was valid. Should the council decide to move forward with review, it can make its own ruling or send the claims to another arbitrator. Any judgment will be revealed in mailed correspondence.

4. Federal Court Review

The final stage in the appeals process is to seek review in a federal district court. It is here where claimants file lawsuits for benefits. The correspondence from the Appeals Council will explain how to file suit.

While the path to receiving benefits is long and winding, it is possible to successfully petition for benefits using this route. In order to ensure the best possible outcome, it is recommended that claimants speak with a knowledgeable attorney.

Experienced Legal Representation From an Experienced Lawyer

If you are seeking assistance with an SSI or SSD appeal, we can help. Our firm has in-depth knowledge of Social Security benefits and knows how to write persuasive appellate briefs. Contact us online, or call our office at 770-489-3456, to schedule a free initial consultation.

We handle appeals cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay no attorney fees until we secure SSD or SSI benefits for you.

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The Law Office of Ellene Welsh Testimonials

Avedis SmithAvedis Smith
20:02 27 Jul 23
When I first got my review denial letter from SSA and had to appeal I was crushed...I contacted several lawyers and no one wanted to take my case. I contacted Ellene Welsh law firm and spoke with Annette and told her about my situation(she spoke with Attorney Welsh) they agreed and took my case. Let me tell you, they are so thorough...they took the time to explain everything to me each step of the way and obtained all medical records, worked endlessly with my SSA hearing officer, and help ease my anxiety. I'm happy to write after a long battle I received a fully favorable decision with no hearing!! If you need a office that will work tirelessly for you then look no further...Thankyou so much to Attorney Welsh and Annette...
Donl AtkinsDonl Atkins
21:47 02 Jan 23
Mrs Welsh and her staff were so helpful. They kept me informed every step of the way and I received a better decision than I expected.Would hire them again if needed.
Reign SupremeReign Supreme
17:19 02 Nov 22
Friendly, professional and attentive. I was made to feel comfortable asking questions.
Kimberly HanbackKimberly Hanback
17:04 05 Oct 22
I had tried to get my disability first with a different lawyer and was turned down. When I called thier office to ask about an appeal they said they couldn't help me and was very rude and hung up on me. Found another lawyer who did my appeal was turned down. I called Ellene Welsh and her and her staff were very nice and helpful. Of course it was during the pandemic so we had to do things differently but she helped me and I won my case. Anytime I had a question they were very helpful and nice. If I could just say if you need a great lawyer with a great staff call her. They will fight for you. Love them.
kyle croftkyle croft
20:29 11 Jul 22
After being denied by SSD , I called the Law offices of Ellen Welsh and she got my disability claim approved. Her employees were professional and easy to work with. They took care of everything. I would highly recommend this law firm to anyone needing help with their SSD CLAIM
Kris ArhartKris Arhart
17:46 02 Feb 22
Ms. Ellene Welsh Came recommended from another attorney. The whole process with her office was as smooth as it can be. If you have never had to use a attorney before let me explain something I learned. Every great attorney has a amazing Paralegal / assistant or more behind them. Ms. Welsh team made contact As easy as I can get. Whether it be by phone or email. Thank Ms. Welsh and your amazing office for all the hard work yall did to make this process as easy as possible.
Pam ScheibPam Scheib
02:49 01 Feb 17
I became a client of Ellene's 3 years ago. When I first met Ellene she took a great deal of time to go over my denied paperwork from Social Security. She explained it was not a quick process and we would be looking at least another year to eighteen months before a hearing. She explained every step! When I had questions Becky and other office staff were always there to walk me through my questions and ease my mind and at times frustrations. Never along this journey did I feel ignored or abandoned. Ellene's staff got all my records together for my hearing and thanks to their hard work we got an immediate decision. It is very rare, I knew it was a good case going in, but Ellene made sure every "I" was dotted and every "T" was crossed. She was excellent in front of the judge and knows what she is doing. It was her 20 plus years experience that makes her so good! I can't thank Ellene and her staff enough for all their time, hard work and dedication in helping me with my case. I highly recommend her to anyone looking for a Social Security Disability Attorney.

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With 35 years of legal experience, Attorney Ellene Welsh specializes in assisting individuals in the Douglasville, Columbus, and West Georgia areas to secure Work Comp, Social Security Disability, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, leveraging her in-depth knowledge of the systems and collaborating with admin officials to secure her clients the financial support they deserve.

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