Social Security Appeals Attorneys in Buffalo, NY
Have you recently been denied your claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits by the Social Security Administration (SSA)? If so, there’s still hope. The Social Security appeals attorneys at The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller are available to help people across Western New York file an appeal without starting a new claim.
At The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller, we know how important Social Security disability can be to a person, and we’ve been providing Social Security disability law services for our clients since 1999. We’re a growing firm, but not so large that we lose sight of the importance of personal, individual attention for every client.
If you need help with your SSDI or SSI benefits, contact our office today.
Social Security Benefits
The Social Security Administration offers help to people in two ways. Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are available for workers who have temporarily suffered from physical or mental impairments. These issues must be of sufficient severity to have prevented the worker from engaging in their occupation or in another kind of work.
Supplemental Security Income is similar, but benefits are available specifically for those who are 65 and older or those whose income is low enough to meet the standard. Experienced Social Security appeals attorneys can help you understand the qualifications necessary to obtain benefits and represent you in the Social Security appeals process.
Medical Conditions and Disabilities that Qualify for SSDI
To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, you must meet certain standards. One such standard is the requirement that you must have been unable to work for at least 12 months because of your condition.
Qualifying medical conditions and disabilities that can qualify for SSDI benefits include:
- Chronic Pain Syndrome
- Heart disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Severed limbs
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Do you have a qualifying condition that has kept you from being able to perform your normal occupation but have had your claim denied? The Social Security appeals attorneys at The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller will discuss your case with you and evaluate your legal options.
Social Security Disability Insurance Claim Denials
The Social Security Administration receives more than 2.5 million applications for benefits every year. The process can be frustrating for people who try to deal with the process alone, as many initial applications are denied.
Social Security appeals attorneys know the system and can help you if the government has denied your initial application. An attorney can ensure that deadlines are met and that all proper documentation is gathered and prepared.
An attorney can help prepare your initial application, too. If you already applied and were denied, the aid of an attorney can be even more critical.
Common Reasons Claims Are Denied
Waiting too long to apply makes it less likely your claim will be accepted. There are also times when disabled individuals are awarded benefits, but the benefits are terminated before the beneficiary can use them.
Disability benefits may have been denied or canceled early if:
- You made a full recovery
- Your injury was less severe than you claimed
- Your injury was diagnosed inaccurately
- The “typical” recovery period has passed
- You are able to work even though you’re not fully recovered
The reasons claims can be denied or benefits canceled early reinforce how unique each person’s application is. If your claim was denied because of one of these reasons, Social Security appeals attorneys can help you provide the necessary proof of qualification.
New York Process of Social Security Claim Appeals
New York state has a process of appealing a Social Security claim that has been denied. The following is an explanation of each step in the appeals process.
Level One: Administrative Law Judge Hearing
After your claim has been denied, the first step of the appeals process is to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). You and a vocational expert will have an informal hearing with a judge who will examine and review the claim and any new evidence that has been submitted.
The judge will also question you and any relevant witnesses during this hearing.
The ALJ hearing must be requested within 60 days from the date of the denial letter. Any new evidence you wish to have considered must be submitted within ten days of filing the hearing request.
Level Two: Appeals Council Review
If the ALJ hearing does not produce favorable results, you can appeal the decision through an Appeals Council Review request. In the event your request is granted, the Appeals Council will appoint an Administrative Appeals Judge to review your case and make a determination concerning any fault in the ALJ decision.
The Appeals Council review must be requested within 60 days of the ALJ hearing decision. This process can be lengthy, as there are a limited number of judges who hear these cases.
After the review, the Appeals Council can send the case back to the ALJ for another review, overturn the decision and make it themselves, or deny your claim altogether.
Level Three: Federal Court Lawsuit
If both the Administrative Law Judge hearing and the Appeals Council review result in a denial of your claim, you can file a lawsuit in a federal U.S. District Court. This level of appeal can be costly.
It could be to your benefit to use a lawyer to help file your initial claim application. If your initial claim is denied, the Western New York Social Security appeals attorneys at The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller will work to solve your claim issue at the lowest level of appeals.
How Social Security Appeals Attorneys Can Help
Having a lawyer file your initial claim can help you avoid mistakes and might result in you receiving your award more quickly. If your application process moves into the hearing stage, an attorney can help you by:
- Gathering medical evidence to support the severity of your condition
- Protecting your right to a fair hearing
- Obtaining a report from your doctor according to Social Security regulations
- Assessing and responding to written questions from the ALJ concerning an additional medical opinion
- Sending you to a vocational expert to determine your ability to work
- Obtaining documents from your file and reviewing actions taken by the SSA
- Cross-examining witnesses at your hearing
- Ensuring the SSA calculates your benefits correctly
- Requesting hearing reviews for each step of the appeals process
A Social Security appeals lawyer can be of great benefit to you during this critical time.
Why Choose Our Social Security Appeals Attorneys?
At The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller, our Social Security appeals attorneys will fight to get the money you need and deserve. We value a strong attorney-client relationship, so the attorney you meet with during your free, no-obligation consultation will be the attorney you work with throughout your case.
In the event you’re applying for Social Security benefits because of a work accident injury, if appropriate, we can also help you with a work injury lawsuit to help you get the financial help you and your family may need.
Call our Social Security appeals attorneys today for a free consultation.