Five Things You Need To Know About The Appeals Process

At the law firm of Daryl C. Royal, we often say Social Security Disability law is a unique animal. With so many processes and procedures, it is no wonder claimants do not know what to do after a claim denial. The following are the five things you need to know about the federal appeals process when it comes to denied Social Security Disability benefits.

1. The federal courts in Michigan do reverse a number of decisions: Prior to a federal court appeal, the Social Security Administration, an administrative law judge and the Appeals Council must all have denied your claim. Going through three denials can be disappointing. However, the federal courts do send back many of these cases to be re-heard, often leading to much-needed benefits.

2. Administrative law judges increasingly tend to favor denials: Do not take your denial personally. These judges are denying more and more claims. Their decision does not need to be the final decision though. A lawyer should review all denied disability claims.

3. You will not have to pay double attorney fees: Prior to a federal court appeal, you most likely worked with another attorney. If we take your case forward to federal court, you will not have to pay double for attorney fees. Also, in many cases the filing fee can be waived.

4. Re-filing a claim resets your award date: Many are tempted to re-file after a denial, instead of appealing further. If this happens, and you are awarded disability benefits, the award will only be retroactive to the date of the prior decision. This means you could lose years of benefits. Rather than re-file, call our Dearborn law firm at 313-769-9121 or contact us by filling out our online form, to see if a federal court appeal is in your best interests.

5. The federal courts do not review new evidence: While you may have a new doctor's opinion, or an updated piece of information that you think will win your case, federal judges do not consider any new information. Rather, your attorney will meticulously review all of the previously presented information — medical records, copies of previous decisions and information from your prior lawyer — to make a solid case for why your claim needs to be re-heard.