Denial by an ALJ at a Disability Hearing

What to do if denied by an ALJ at a disability hearing Hearing

If your disability hearing results in a denial, you have a choice to make. You can file an Appeals Council Review appeal to request a review of the ALJ's decision. In rare instances, the Appeals Council will overturn an ALJ disability decision; however they are more likely to remand your disability claim back to the judge for a review of their decision if they feel there is an error.

If the ALJ finds they did make an error, they can reverse their hearing decision.

The other choice you have is to file a new disability claim and begin the disability process again. This choice is more difficult if you are past your date last insured meaning that you would not have another opportunity for Social Security if the judge's decision is not overturned.

If you are past your DLI, or date last insured, your only choice is to appeal to the Appeals Council, and if this results in a denial you can take your disability claim to federal court.

Most disability applicants do not take their claim to federal court because it can be costly. You would have to discuss the possibilities with your attorney. If your representative is a non-attorney Social Security representative, you will have to get an attorney to take it to federal court.

If you are still insured for disability, you can choose to file an Appeals Council review and wait for a decision, or file a new disability claim.

Some individuals file the appeal to protect their potential back payment, while others do not want to wait more time for an appeal that is likely to result in a dismissal or denial. If it does get dismissed or denied you are back to square one; meaning you have to file a new disability claim.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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