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The Stages in Pursuing a Disability Claim


The Stages in Pursuing a Disability Claim By Rainier Policarpio

 

 

The amount of time you need in pursuing a Social Security Disability claim greatly depends on the number of times you would file an appeal due to the Social Security Administration’s denial of your application. The filing procedure has five stages with its respective requirements and case evaluators.


 The amount of time you need in pursuing a Social Security Disability claim greatly depends on the number of times you would file an appeal due to the Social Security Administration’s denial of your application. The filing procedure has five stages with its respective requirements and case evaluators. The four basic steps are supervised by the SSA while the last phase involves the civil courts.

Initial Stage

Primarily, the filing process will start upon your submission of a formal Disability claim to the Social Security Office. A disability examiner will then assess your petition to determine if your disability is eligible under the rules of the State Disability Determination Agency. He or she will examine the documents you have filed pertaining to your medical condition and ask a qualified doctor for his expert opinion.

Unfortunately, more than 60% of disability claims are rejected on this stage. This is mainly due to the inadequate knowledge of the claimants about the SSA’s conditions and definition of accepted disabilities. A number of them also refuse hiring experienced Social Security representatives on their belief that it would only cost them a lot of money.

Motion for Reconsideration

After the rejection of your first attempt, you have the right to file an appeal for reconsideration. This motion is just like a request for the SSA to have a review on the decision of the disability examiner who handled your case on the initial stage. The SSA will act upon your pleading and appoint another disability examiner to look into your claim and give his decision.

According to the records, around 80% of the disability claims are rejected on this stage, 20% higher than the initial stage. This can mean that the disability examiner on this stage might follow stricter standards or yet the previous one has already performed a thorough judgment on the cases that were filed.

Case Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge

If in case your petition was again rejected on the reconsideration stage, you do have an option to bring your case to an Administrative Law Judge and wait for the scheduling of a hearing. While in the previous stages, you are not given a chance to get in touch with the examiners; this step is comparable to a normal civil case litigation wherein you are expected to present and defend your case in front of a judge. However, in these particular hearings, there is no defendant to convict. More than 50% succeed in this stage.

The Appeals Council

The Appeals Council accepts disability claims that fail to succeed in the first three steps. Their office is situated in Falls Church, Virginia. The council is not obliged to hear any arguments from the petitioner, but rather they are tasked to review the decisions made by the Administrative Law Judge and give their verdicts based on the judge’s view of the case.

Civil Litigation

Once you have undergone all the procedures made available by the SSA but still you did not succeed, your last resort would be bringing your case to civil courts.

 

Article Provided by Mesriani Law Group

 

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