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Alabama Social Security Disability Lawyers I lost my Hearing, is there anything else I can do?

Alabama Social Security Disability Lawyers I lost my Hearing, is there anything else I can do?

Alabama Social Security Disability Lawyers: I lost my Hearing, is there anything else I can do?  Unfortunately, this is a question we hear quite a bit at our office, from disabled people who hired another law firm to help them in their disability claim, and from some of our clients if the administrative law judge denied their claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims.

The answer is YES, you can appeal a denial from the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), and this is something we go through with our clients at the outset of their case.  The vast majority of applications for disability benefits (70%) are denied by the Social Security Administration here in Alabama, which is worse than the national average.  Most likely, your claim for Social Security Disability benefits will be denied, and having an attorney whose practice largely centers on disability claims help you with the appeal process can be beneficial.

After a denial, one has sixty (60) days from the date of your denial in which to file an appeal, and there are four levels to disability appeals:

  • Request for reconsideration — This is a complete review of your claim by a new reviewer. You can add new evidence and information to your file before the reconsideration to strengthen your chances of approval at this level.
  • Hearing — If your reconsideration results in another denial, you may request that an administrative law judge hear your case. The hearing usually takes place within 75 miles of your home. You have the right to submit new evidence and information prior to the hearing. You have the right to present witnesses, such as a treating physician, at your hearing. In some cases, it is possible to conduct a video hearing. The judge weighs the evidence and renders a decision.
  • Appeals Council review — If the hearing affirms the denial, you can request that the Appeals Council review your application. The Appeals Council can deny a request for review if it believes the evidence supports the administrative law judge’s decision. If the Appeals Council reviews your case, it can affirm the administrative law judge’s denial of your claim, remand the case to the administrative judge with instructions to reconsider, or issue an approval on its own.
  • Federal court lawsuit — If the Appeals Council declines to review your case or denies your claim, your last level of appeal is to file a lawsuit in the federal district court.

Any firm that does disability cases will file a Request for Reconsideration or a Request for a Hearing before an administrative law judge, but if the ALJ denies a claim, most attorneys do not take a case before the Appeals Council or file a Federal appeal.

As I mentioned earlier, at Powell and Denny we go through the step a client might have to go through in their claim for disability benefits at the outset, because it is always best to let the client know what the may be facing.  The issue we deal with most often arises when a disabled person who hired another firm to assist them, but when the Administrative Law Judge rules against their client, the firm drops the case and informs them that they have 60 days to find a new lawyer if they wish to appeal the denial.

Yes, we have successfully taken cases when a disabled person lost at the Hearing level while the disabled person was being represented by another firm—but this is not something we do lightly.  When appealing a claim to the Appeals Council or to the U.S. District Court, the appeal is based on the arguments and evidence presented in the earlier stages of the claim-and generally the only thing a client who was cut loose from the firm they initially hired is the denial letter-which is not much when considering an appeal.  We generally ask the potential client to contact their previous lawyers and request a copy of their file so we can review the documents to see if we can see a valid legal argument which was preserved.  And this all has to be done in a few weeks.

Appeals to the Federal Court takes a lot of time, and preparing a case to take to the U.S. District Court can be arduous, but it is something you and your attorney have to be prepared to do at the outset of your case.  Yes, we try to win every case as quickly as possible, but the fact remains that many cases have to go up on appeal to the Federal Court to point out errors committed by the administrative law judge in order to obtain a favorable outcome.  This fact was recently reported on in the Washington Post, where it was pointed out that only 20% of denied disability claims were appealed to Federal Court-but 60% of the cases appealed to Federal Court were either reversed or remanded back to the Social Security Administration for another hearing due to mistakes made by the administrative law judge.

So, when you are considering who to hire to help with a claim for Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, it is important to know whether the attorney or firm has experience in taking appeals to Federal Court.  At Powell and Denny, both Mr. Powell and Mr. Denny have 30 years of individual experience handling Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims, not only before the administrative law judge-but also in Federal Court if necessary.

If you are disabled and you have questions about your right to Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, or if your claim has been denied and you want assistance appealing your denial, please do not hesitate to contact and speak with one of the experienced Alabama Social Security Disability lawyers at Powell and Denny for a free consultation.

Appointments are available in person, or virtually through Zoom for your convenience.

Powell and Denny: We Work When You Can’t

Offices in Birmingham, AL and Huntsville, AL


Alabama Disability Attorneys

Birmingham Social Security Disability Attorneys

Central Alabama Social Security Lawyers

Hoover Social Security Disability Lawyers

Huntsville Social Security Disability Attorneys

North Alabama Social Security Disability Lawyers

Tennessee Valley Social Security Disability Lawyers

Powell and Denny have been selected as one of the Best Law Firms by U.S. News and World Report for each of the last 9 years, have been selected as one of Birmingham’s Top Lawyers by B-Metro Magazine for the last 5 years, have been selected by The National Advocates as one of the Top 20 Workers’ Compensation Firms (plaintiffs) and Powell and Denny, P.C.-has been selected as one of the “Best of the Best” law firms by The American Registry and included in the list as one of the Mid-South’s Super Lawyers.

Mr. Denny is AV rated by Martindale Hubbard (the highest rating possible) and Mr. Powell has been rated as Superior by The National Registry

+ Powell and Denny have successfully represented disabled person from Birmingham, Huntsville, Florence, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, Athens, Decatur, Town Creek Ardmore, Hartselle, Madison, Toney, Scottsboro, Ft. Payne, New Hope, Guntersville, Albertville, Boaz, Ashville, Anniston, Gadsden, Cullman, Jasper, Gardendale, Morris, Kimberly, Centerpoint, Leeds, Tarrant City, Fairfield, Hueytown, Bessemer, Adger, Tuscaloosa, Cordova, Alabaster, Pelham, Harpersville, Opelika, Phenix City, Montgomery, Clanton, Calera, Enterprise, Monroeville, Mobile, Evergreen, Pelham, Alabaster, Calera, Centre, Trussville and towns and cities in between.




Alabama Social Security Disability Lawyers I lost my Hearing, is there anything else I can do?

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  • Birmingham Office
    1320 Alford Avenue
    Suite 201
    Birmingham, Alabama 35226
    Phone: 205-978-2051
    Fax: 205-978-2054
  • Huntsville Office
    600 Boulevard South
    SW Suite 104
    Huntsville, Alabama 35802
    Phone: 256-705-3510
    Fax: 256-705-3513

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