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Social Security Disability Appeals

Experienced Birmingham Attorneys Manage Social Security Disability Appeals

Knowledgeable assistance overcomes obstacles to approval

If your Social Security disability claim was denied, there’s no need to panic. The Social Security Administration (SSA) rejects almost 70 percent of first-time applications, and you have the right to appeal up to three times. But what must you do differently on appeal to win approval? At Powell & Denny, P.C., our attorneys have more than 50 years of combined experience in disability law. We know specifically what SSA reviewers are looking for in an application and use our knowledge to improve your chances of approval on appeal. From our offices in Birmingham and Huntsville, we can provide the assistance you need to get the benefits you deserve.

Understanding how SSA views disability

The Social Security Administration website defines disability as “the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” However, this definition is not very instructive when it comes to the specific types of conditions or descriptive language that SSA reviewers need to see before they can approve a claim. If you try to handle your appeal on your own, you’ll be at a great disadvantage. But with Powell & Denny managing your appeal, you have the benefit of our knowledge and experience supporting your claim.

Guidance throughout the Social Security disability appeal process

SSA can deny your disability claim for medical or nonmedical reasons. But either way, you must request an appeal within 60 days of the date you receive your decision letter. There are four possible levels to your SSDI appeal:

  • 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.

Appeals can drag on for a long time, but it’s important to remain positive. At every stage, our attorneys are determined to provide highly professional representation focused on the results you need and deserve.

Maximizing your total stream of benefits when you are unable to work

If you have a work-related disability, you may have a workers’ compensation claim along with your claim for Social Security Disability Insurance. These benefits are meant to be complementary, but if your claims are mismanaged, workers’ comp could wind up reducing or canceling out your SSDI. Our attorneys know how to make workers’ comp and SSDI work in tandem so you can obtain the maximum benefits possible.

Contact our Birmingham lawyers for your Social Security disability appeal

Your Social Security disability claim could be the key to avoiding severe financial hardship. If your claim has been denied, trust Powell & Denny, P.C. to successfully manage the complex appeals process. For attentive and responsive service, call 800-549-5161 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Our Birmingham office is at 1320 Alford Avenue, just off I-65, and we also meet clients in our Huntsville office, at 600 Boulevard South.

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

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My Alabama Disability Claim
by William Powell & Gregory Denny
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