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Timely action and persistence essential in pressing SSDI appeals

The Social Security Administration takes a long time to respond to claims for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. As we have noted before, the initial response is very often a denial and it takes the government months to deliver that bad news.

The good news is that there are four different levels of appeal. Of course, each one takes more time. And while the government may take years to issue a final determination, applicants don't have the same flexibility. 

As Social Security Administration information makes clear, an applicant has the right to seek a reconsideration of the initial denial. But it has to be made in writing within 60 days. Legal observers familiar with this area of law note that reconsiderations may take about as much time as the initial decision, but they rarely ever result in a reversal.

The next level of appeal involves seeking a hearing with an administrative law judge. And here's where a significant logjam exists. According to a recent article in The Washington Post, there are nearly 1 million cases on hold waiting to be decided.

Compare that to other notorious backlogs of recent years: 526,000 veterans waiting for health care from Veterans Affairs and 606,000 patents pending before the U.S. Patent Office. The issue is starkly apparent. The wait can be more than a year.

But as the title of this blog states, persistence is crucial. If after a hearing before an ALJ you are denied again, you can still make your case before an Appeals Council made up of a panel of judges. And after that, if it becomes necessary, you can take your case to federal court for review.

What becomes apparent by all of this is that the sooner an applicant can present the strongest possible case the sooner benefits are likely to be granted. Our attorneys know that and understand what it takes to usher a claim most swiftly through the system. Call us to learn more about our services.

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