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Denied Social Security: the basics of filing an appeal (Part 3)

We'll continue our discussion of the disability claims process with a look at what can happen after an initial appeal, or reconsideration, is denied. The information is intended to be general in nature only, and not as specific legal advice for any Bremen resident's individual situation.

Once a reconsideration has been denied, the next option available in pursuing a claim for Social Security Disability is to request that an administrative law judge hear your case. You'll need to gather all of the evidence you'd like the judge to review; you may also have witnesses provide testimony on your behalf at the hearing. The judge may also ask expert witnesses to testify on medical or other issues.

If the administrative law judge rules against you, you may ask the Appeals Council to review your case. The Appeals Council may or may not grant your request for a review. If they do review your case, they may or may not overrule the administrative law judge's decision.

If the Appeals Council did not review your case or if they agreed with the administrative law judge's denial, the final option is to file a federal lawsuit against the Social Security Administration. In this scenario, you will need to demonstrate to a federal judge that the denial of your claim was unreasonable or not based on the reality of your situation. If the judge agrees, the denial will be overturned and your claim approved.

While it can be encouraging to know that there are many steps available in seeking to get your claim ultimately approved, it may also sound like a daunting process. And for a Bremen resident suffering from a disabling injury, a lengthy legal battle is the last thing on which you need to be focused. This is why many turn to the support of a legal professional when they've been denied Social Security benefits.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Basics of Social Security Disability Appeals," accessed on Dec. 3, 2017

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