Social Security Disability Benefit Appeals Lawyer

The Social Security Administration (SSA) denies most initial applications for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. But if you’ve been denied benefits, you shouldn’t lose hope. The SSD appeals process provides you with another opportunity to get benefits. The Social Security attorneys at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin are prepared to help you file a strong appeal—so you have the best possible chance of getting your claim approved.

Our national Social Security Disability benefit appeals lawyers help people across America appeal their SSD denials every day, and we want to help you too. You won’t owe us anything unless we obtain benefits for you.

SSD Appeals Process

When you file an SSD appeal, the SSA will take another look at your claim to make sure the evidence is complete and all necessary information is filled out correctly. The SSD appeals process has four levels:


During this initial step, the SSA reviews the evidence in your claim along with any new evidence you choose to submit and issues a new decision. The new decision can either affirm the previous denial or grant you an approval of benefits.

Administrative Hearing

If you disagree with your reconsideration decision, you can request an administrative hearing. During the hearing, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), who had no part in the first decision, will question you (and any witnesses you bring) about your disability claim. The ALJ may ask you to clarify the medical evidence in your case or present new information and will then issue a decision. Your attorney will be present throughout the entire Social Security Disability appeals process.

Appeals Council Review

Should you disagree with the decision of the ALJ, you can ask for your case to be reviewed by the SSA’s Appeals Council. The Appeals Council has the right to deny your request for review. If they decide your case warrants a review, they can either decide the case themselves or return your case to an ALJ for further action.

Court Case

If you are denied an Appeals Council review, your lawyer can file a case against the Social Security Administration in a federal or district court.

If you’ve been denied SSD benefits, contact Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin. Our Social Security Disability lawyers are here to help you through every step of the appeals process.

Who Decides SSD Appeals?

The SSA has nearly 60,000 employees handling millions of SSD claims and appeals every year. With every SSA employee handling so many claims at once, understanding the roles of the employees who process SSD appeals and the information they need to issue decisions may help increase your chances of getting approved.

SSD Medical Consultants

During the medical evaluation portion of the SSD appeals process, medical consultants (MCs) and psychological consultants (PCs) work together to evaluate the medical and psychological evidence in a case. If there is no medical evidence, a claims examiner will deny your claim.

According to the SSA, MCs and PCs are responsible for considering the total effect of a single impairment and the combined effect of all impairments, including those not considered severe. Without MC or PC approval, your SSD appeal cannot be approved.

SSD Claims Examiners

Claims examiners—or Disability Determination Services disability examiners—process appeals for SSD benefits. Their roles throughout the appeals process include:

  • Identifying sources of evidence from claim folder information by speaking with claimants, applicants, claimant representatives, and other appropriate parties
  • Sending and following up on letter requests, telephone requests, and other forms of communication to get needed medical or vocational evidence
  • Consulting with medical/psychological consultants (MCs/PCs) and other staff members to resolve problems in getting evidence from treating sources, hospitals, and consultative examiners
  • Initiating requests for consultative examinations when medical evidence of record is not sufficient and following up on these requests to obtain reports as soon as possible
  • Consulting with MCs/PCs to resolve medical issues and evidence interpretations
  • Assisting in completing residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment forms
  • Assessing the significance of RFC, age, education, and work experience on the ability to do substantial gainful activity
  • Preparing determinations—including regulation coding and decision rationales—and signing them
  • Preparing vocational rehabilitation referrals
  • Preparing disability determination notices

Your Right to Representation

You have the right to have a representative help you prepare your SSD claim or appeal. According to the SSA, a representative can be an attorney, a friend, or someone you trust to assist you. Your representative must be approved by the SSA to act on your behalf and must not have been suspended or disqualified from representing others. At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, all of our Social Security Disability attorneys are approved representatives.

If you choose Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin to represent you, you are required to notify the SSA of your decision to appoint a representative. Before we start working on your claim, we will complete form SSA-1696 (Appointment of Representative) or send in your written statement naming one of our Social Security Disability appeal lawyers as your representative.

Our Social Security Disability Benefit Appeal Attorneys Are Here to Help

Facing the SSA can be intimidating, but you don’t have to do it alone. If you need help preparing your SSD appeal, our lawyers are here to assist you through every step of the process. In most cases, we cannot charge you fees for our services until the SSA approves a written fee agreement or fee petition. This paperwork can be completed before or after your SSD claim is resolved. We will not charge you more than the SSA approves, and you won’t owe us for our services unless we get money for you.

If you have questions about your right to hire an SSD benefit appeals lawyer, contact our legal team today.


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