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Denied but not Defeated: Steps to Win Your Social Security Disability Claim

If your social security disability claim was rejected, do not think that the battle is over. You are just one of the millions of applicants whose claim got denied by the Social Security Administration, in fact, most first time applications are denied. It is estimated that as much as 70 percent of all disability claims are denied initially.

So if you’re an applicant whose claim was rejected, remember: it may have been denied but not defeated. You have the right to appeal or question why your application received an unfavorable determination.

Of course, it would be easier for you to undertake your appeal with a social security disability lawyer by your side, especially if you’re in Los Angeles. There are many expert social security disability lawyers in Los Angeles so everything you need to win your claim is within your disposal.

On the other hand, if you want to know more about what to do after your claim was denied, here is a step by step procedure after the initial unfavorable decision.

  • Step 1. Once the State Disability Determination Services (DDS) finds that you are not disabled as under the requirements provided for by the law and returned to the field office, you can call or write the social security field office handling your application and ask for a reconsideration. The reconsideration is a complete review of your claim and the disability determination will be made by a different team in the DDS.
  • Step 2. If after the reconsideration, the decision is still adverse, you may then ask for a hearing. Your case will now be handled by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who will conduct a hearing. During the hearing, you may give more evidence and information to clarify your claim. You may also present witnesses such as medical or vocational experts and you may also testify to prove your disability. You also have the option of having your hearing via video conference rather than in person.
  • Step 3. Should you disagree with the decision of the ALJ, you may request for a review of his decision by Social Security’s Appeals Council. Your request may be denied by the Appeals Council if it agrees with the decision rendered during the hearing but it may also review and decide your case. The Appeals Council may also return your case to an ALJ for further action
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  • Step 4. On the other hand, if all of the previous steps mentioned above rendered a decision against your claim, you may elevate your appeal to a federal district court by filing a lawsuit.

Throughout these steps, social security disability lawyers would be indispensable allies to help you achieve victory.

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