As discussed in our SSI and SSDI timeframe, there are many stages to the Social Security Disability process that can take quite a considerable amount of time. Typically, most people are denied after their initial application and after a reconsideration appeal. At the hearing level, and often with the assistance of an attorney, an approval may be more certain. Nonetheless, there are still many individuals who will need to appeal a hearing denial in an attempt to secure another hearing to prove their medical disability.
What Happens When You Are Denied
After a hearing denial, most cases will be appealed to the Appeals Council, which is a division of review within the Social Security Administration. If the Appeals Council determines the Judge made an error, your case will be returned to that Judge for another hearing. The Appeals Council may also send the case back for re-hearing upon the receipt of new evidence. However, submitting evidence to the Appeals Council requires following very specific rules, and new evidence usually is denied review. Thus, the Appeals Council will generally affirm the Judge’s decision.
The next step in appealing a disability case is to file a complaint with the United States District Court. The individual seeking redress becomes the “plaintiff.” Plaintiffs are allowed to represent themselves; however, there are very specific rules and even more specific case law that must be applied. Whether your case can be won at federal court is dependent on the evidence in your case, how it was developed, and other factors that vary from case to case. Consequently, it is vital that a plaintiff seek experienced legal help when appealing at this level.
If your case is granted by the Court, it will be returned to a Judge for another hearing. Should your case be denied at this level, the next step would be an appeal to the Circuit Court for your state. Whether your case can be successfully appealed at this level is heavily dependent on how your case was developed, the evidence in your case, how your representative did at hearing, and how well your case was argued at the District Court level, among other factors.
We Can Appeal At Higher Levels
The Circuit Court for the District of New Mexico is the Tenth Circuit in Denver, Colorado. There are few offices that will appeal cases to the Tenth Circuit, and often your case will not be appealed to this level if there is a deficiency in any area mentioned above. For this reason, it is important to have a representative that will properly develop your file in the event that your claim needs to be appealed at this level. The Law Office of Michael Armstrong Law has the experience necessary to appeal at the Tenth Circuit in Denver, Colorado.