I was denied at my Social Security Disability hearing; now what?
After patiently waiting through a long, two year appeal process and hearing, you finally get the decision letter in the mail. You open it and find that just like the two previous decisions you've received from Social Security, you have been denied. It sounds like a nightmare scenario, but unfortunately it is a very common one that millions of Americans will face. This is a situation that makes a claimant wonder what to do now. Here are a couple common paths to choose from in this position.
The first is to appeal. To appeal is asking for a review by the "Appeals Council" to look for errors made in the hearing by the Administrative Law Judge. Appeals Council can be a very long process and the approval rates are often very low. Because of this, many Disability attorneys do not handle Appeals Council cases.
A second option is to reapply for Social Security Disability. Starting the whole process over can seem very daunting for someone who suffered through it once already. However, for many, it may be the right decision.
Every case is different so do not make this decision lightly. To help you decide what the best next step is for your personal claim, I suggest contacting a Disability attorney, the Social Security Administration, or your local Bar Association. Like the other steps in the Social Security Disability process, you only have a limited amount of time to appeal so do not hesitate to seek help as soon as possible.