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The Initial Disability Claim and Appeal

Pending Social Security Benefits ClaimPending Social Security Benefits Claim

While it is not necessary to have a Livonia disability lawyer in your corner when you file for SSD, you may find it useful from the outset to have legal counsel. The process for applying and appealing is fairly straightforward, but can be frustrating and time-consuming.

The Disability Application

There are several ways available to you for filing the application. You may apply by mail, telephone, or on the Internet at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability/adult.htm. Most clients use the phone method. The toll-free number to the SSA office is 1-800-772-1213.

The initial application is the one document that your Livonia disability attorney generally cannot sign on your behalf. However, you may find that you have questions that you would like answered by a legal representative as you fill out your application.

Appealing a Denial

If your application is denied at first, don’t fret. Also, do not reapply, for this will only delay potential payments by months. Instead, you need to appeal. This first appeal is called the Initial Reconsideration. SSA will not determine your eligibility based on medical evidence at this level. The initial appeal is relegated to a contracting state agency which usually denies claims.

The second appeal, or Reconsideration, will also go to a contracting agency, but will not be reviewed by the same individuals as your first appeal. You can expect that your claim will also be denied at this level. Yes, this is frustrating. However, don’t give up. If you have not already done so, you should hire a Livonia disability attorney at this point, for your next appeal will result in a hearing before an administrative law judge.

Pilot Project

Several states including Michigan are experimenting with a pilot plan to streamline the first two tiers of the disability appeals process. The idea is to eliminate the reconsideration step, since it is almost a redundancy. This means that your second appeal will likely lead to the aforementioned hearing—all the more reason to have an attorney from early in the process.

If you have become disabled and need to file for SSD, call Livonia disability attorney JB Bieske for a free consultation at (800) 331-3530.

J.B. Bieske & Jennifer Alfonsi, Attorneys at Law

19991 Hall Road, Suite 202
Macomb, MI 48044
Phone: 586-977-8100
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800-331-3530