social security disability appeals

When to File Social Security Disability Appeals

by Staff | August 11th, 2015

If you’ve ever attempted to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, you know how daunting the task can be. The wait time for a decision in your case can be lengthy and the likelihood of your claim not being approved is high. In fact, more than 60 percent of initial claims are denied.

Receiving a Social Security Disability denial coupled with these long waits leaves many disabled workers wondering what their choices are. Our legal team at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin explains that you can accept the denial or enter the Social Security Disability appeals process, which allows for your case to be heard by a judge, rather than examined by a Social Security Disability claims processor.

The ability to get your claim approved on appeals may be affected, in part, by what part of the country you’re from and which judge is hearing your case. An article from MY FOX Atlanta News explains some judges tend to approve denials at a higher rate than others.

The location of where the claim is filed may also have an effect on the outcome of a case. For example, two-thirds of Georgia’s Social Security Disability appeals are denied—a much higher rate of denial than in other states throughout our country.

The best way for you to determine what options may work best for you is to discuss your case with a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer. Doing so will help to ensure all of your questions are answered and you have the information necessary to make an informed decision about your case.

Your Rights During a Social Security Disability Claim

by Staff | March 23rd, 2015

As a United States citizen, you have certain rights that cannot be encroached upon, even by the federal government. So when you’re applying for Social Security Disability benefits, it’s important to be informed of what your rights are during that process. At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our Social Security Disability lawyers explain each claimant has three basic rights to keep in mind. They include:

  • The Right to Equal Consideration– The law states that each Social Security Disability claim must be thoroughly examined in a timely manner before a decision is issued. In other words, decisions on claims cannot be blindly issued.
  • The Right to a Social Security Disability Appeal– If your claim is denied for any reason, you have the right to question that decision through the Social Security Administration’s appeals process. A publication from the agency outlines the steps of this process in detail.
  • The Right to Legal Representation- When filing a Social Security Disability appeal, it’s important to remember you have the right to be represented in court and during legal proceedings by an attorney. The law also states that an individual is prohibited from charging you or collecting a fee without written approval from the Social Security Administration.

Our legal staff at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin has a thorough understanding of Social Security Disability law and hope these tips help clarify your rights. If you have any questions regarding the Social Security Disability claim process or your rights, feel free to give us a call at (800) 477-7315 to get the answers you need.

Wait Times for Social Security Disability Appeals Hearings Are Growing

by Staff | March 14th, 2014

March 14, 2014

It seems to be a case of taking one step forward and two steps back when it comes to the Social Security Administration (SSA) addressing the problem of it’s increasing backlog of claims awaiting a hearing for a decision.

SSA data shows that as of December of last year, there are 903,720 individuals awaiting a hearing on an appeal of their Social Security Disability (SSD) claim. This is an almost 7 percent increase from the number gathered at the end of the 2013 fiscal year and a 17 percent jump from 2011. Researchers were also able to conclude there were longer wait times for SSD hearings as well. The average wait time is now 393 days, compared with the 382-day wait period reported at the end of the 2013 fiscal year.

These numbers leave many claimants wondering what they should do when planning to file a Social Security Disability Appeal. Some actions that should be considered include:

  • Don’t Give Up- When a claim is denied, its easy to let following up fall to the wayside. However, doing so can be extremely detrimental to an individual’s claim, as waiting too long could affect vital work history.
  • Document Everything- The SSA closely examines individuals’ work histories up to the past decade and will consider all notes and medical records during an appeals hearing, which is why it is so important to have every bit of information that is available regarding your case.
  • Get Help!– The Social Security Disability Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin recognize how complex the process can be and are here to offer assistance to anyone who is considering applying for SSD or who has a claim that was denied in the past.

Social Security Administration Considers Reforms to Appeals Regulations

by Staff | March 7th, 2014

March 7, 2014

It’s already fairly difficult to get approved for Social Security Disability benefits, considering more than 60 percent of initial claims are denied. Now though, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is considering passing measures that would tighten the regulations and policies that govern the filing of a Social Security Disability Appeal.

Under the current rules that govern appeals, claimants do not have to submit all of their medical history. Instead, some choose to only submit what they see as relevant to the case, which some argue omits vital information a judge could see as showing the claimant is still able to work.

One reason omissions from medical documents are so easy to make is because in many cases, judges are the ones responsible for examining the evidence. They are under immense pressure to process large numbers of cases, which is only compounded by difficulty in determining who to subpoena in order to receive the needed documents. This often forces judges to make decisions in cases where full medical records were not disclosed.

According to an article from The Wall Street Journal, the discovery of the problem has prompted officials to consider reforms that would require a patient to submit their full medical history without omissions during the Social Security Disability appeals process.

The SSA is currently examining feedback on the proposal and a decision in the matter is expected in the coming months.

The Social Security Disability Lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin understand the complexities of the laws surrounding Social Security disability and encourage those with questions to speak with a reputable attorney immediately.

Denied Social Security Disability Claim: How To Appeal

by Staff | June 14th, 2013

June 14, 2013

Even when a person files a legitimate claim for Social Security Disability Benefits, there is a good chance it will be denied. Records from the Social Security Administration (SSA) show that approximately 70 percent of all initial benefit claims are denied.

Just because an individual receives a Social Security Disability Claim Denial doesn’t mean there are no options. If a person’s claim is rejected, they have the option to begin the appeals process; however, this can sometimes be quite complex.

The first step in beginning the process is letting the SSA know of the intent to start an appeal. The agency will then send the claimant a set of forms that will need to be filled out and returned or completed online. It is vital that the claimant ensure these forms are returned to the SSA within 60 days, as this is the agency’s deadline for initiating the process after receiving a denial. It may also prove beneficial for the claimant to contact their local Social Security office within two weeks of submittal to ensure all of the proper paperwork has been received.

The Social Security Disability Attorneys with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin recognize how confusing and tedious the appeals process can be and suggest discussing your case with an attorney if your claim for benefits has been denied in the past. Their team may be able to help get you the compensation you need.

Appealing The Denial Of A Social Security Disability Claim

by Staff | May 6th, 2013

May 6, 2013

In recent years, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has come under heavy scrutiny for failing to find a solution to the growing number of unprocessed claims for Social Security Disability Benefits. Now, it seems as though the agency is taking the approach of simply denying claims to reduce this number.

Numbers from the agency show that the SSA initially denies an average of around 60 percent of all claims. This forces the claimant to either drop the claim or begin the lengthy process of an appeal.

The appeal process can prove to be quite complex and confusing for many citizens though, which can lead to quite a few questions being raised. One of the most common concerns claimants have when beginning an appeal is, “What are the steps to the process?”

A press release from the SSA explains that there are four steps to making an appeal for benefits if your claim is denied or if an individual disagrees with the amount they were awarded. Those steps include:

  • Reconsideration
  • A Hearing
  • An Appeals Council Review
  • A Federal Court Review

If an appeal is to be made, it must be done within 60 days of the denial being issued.

This is why the Social Security Disability Attorneys with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin say it is so important to discuss your legal options with an attorney if you are considering filing an appeal of you Social Security disability claim.

Judge Being Investigated for High Rate of Approval on Social Security Disability Appeals

by Staff | May 20th, 2011

After a Wall Street Journal exposé on the high rate at which administrative law judge David B. Daugherty approves Social Security Disability appeals claims, the U.S. Social Security Administration inspector general’s office has launched an investigation.

Daugherty is one of 1,000 judges tasked with reviewing appeals claims. On average these judges approve about 60 percent of appeals, but Daugherty reportedly approves 99.7%. The WSJ reports that in the first six months of 2011 the 75-year-old judge from Huntington, West Virginia, approved benefits in all 729 cases that came before him.

On Thursday investigators visited the Huntington Social Security Administration office, where they interviewed employees and removed at least one computer, according to The WSJ.

“We are currently conducting multiple investigations and expect to take appropriate action before too long,” said a spokesman for the Social Security Administration.

Read more.

Do you think that the Social Security Disability approval process is fair? Why is it so difficult for some people’s appeals to get approved while others get rubber-stamped?

If you need help with your Social Security benefits, contact the Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.