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St. Charles Parish SSDI Lawyer

When you become disabled and unable to work due to a medical condition or injury, you may be understandably frustrated when you apply for SSDI benefits and the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies your claim. If you believe that SSA has unjustly denied your claim for benefits, your only recourse is to take immediate steps to appeal the denial. A St. Charles Parish SSDI lawyer can assist you in filing the necessary appeals following a denial of benefits.

The appeals process for SSDI claims is complex and requires you to take certain steps to appeal within specific deadlines. Pursuing an SSDI appeal also can be a lengthy process, which requires that you act right away to get the benefits that you need as quickly as possible. A skilled personal injury lawyer can be instructive in guiding you through this extensive and complicated appeals process.

Applying for Social Security Benefits

When individuals need to apply for SSDI benefits, they can do so through their local SSA offices, by telephone appointment, or online in many situations. Individuals must be prepared to provide detailed information about their work history, medical conditions, and medical treatment, which allows SSA to evaluate their eligibility for SSDI benefits. If they do not have copies of their medical records, they also can sign a release of information forms that allow all their medical providers to send their medical records directly to SSA.

Disability Determination Services Application Assessment

Once claimants complete their applications for SSDI benefits, the Disability Determination Services office (DDS) will assess the applications to see if they meet the earnings and medical criteria for receiving SSDI benefits. First, individuals must have worked and earned sufficient income for a certain number of quarters or periods, to qualify for SSDI benefits. The number of eligible quarters and amounts of earnings during those quarters help determine the amount of benefits to which individuals are entitled if any.

Assessing Medical Conditions

If DDS determines that the applicants have met the earnings requirements, then they will assess whether their medical conditions meet the necessary criteria. This assessment includes consideration of various factors, including current hours and income from employment, medical conditions, the severity and anticipated longevity of the impairment, and the ability to work, based on age, education, and experience.

The assistance of a seasoned St. Charles SSDI lawyer may be invaluable in building the most substantial claim for benefits possible to ensure a better likelihood of success.

Ineligibility for SSDI and The Initial Appeals Process

If DDS determines that individuals are ineligible for SSDI benefits, they will receive a notice stating the reasons for their ineligibility. However, although most individuals do receive an initial denial of benefits, they can still pursue their claims through a multi-level appeals process.

Request for Reconsideration

The first step of the appeals process is to file a request for reconsideration, which must occur within 60 days of the date that they received their denial notice. Individuals also can submit any new or additional medical records or information to supplement their appeal.

If a request for reconsideration results in a further denial, claimants have an additional 60 days in which to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. Individuals can request a copy of their disability file from SSA and again submit any additional records or information that may be helpful to their case. They can appear with a St. Charles Parish SSDI attorney in front of a neutral judge who has not previously considered their claim for benefits, and following the hearing, the judge will issue a decision on their claim for benefits.

Contact a St. Charles Parish SSDI Attorney for Help

If the first levels of appeal are unsuccessful, you still can further appeal a denial of SSDI benefits by requesting a review by the Appeals Council, and by appealing the decision in federal district court. As filing a lawsuit in federal court is far more complex and requires adherence to various procedural rules, enlisting the help of a St. Charles Parish SSDI lawyer in this situation may be wise.

While some levels of the appeals process are more likely to be effective than others, you should know that pursuing denials of claims through appeals is often the only way to obtain the SSDI benefits to which you are entitled. Working with legal counsel throughout the various levels of appeals may be crucial to a more favorable outcome in your case. Call today to get started on your claim.