Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Using a lawyer to potentially speed up the disability appeal process

In theory, a person who decides to file a disability appeal on their own can potentially move their case through the social security disability system just as fast as a disability attorney. That is to say, they can complete the required forms just as fast and can mail them in just as fast (note: this is assuming that attorneys actually send in paper appeal forms; in actuality, disability lawyers and non-attorney claimant's representatives have been directed by SSA to file appeals using the Social Security Administration's online process).

In many instances, though, claimants who file their own appeals fail to do the following:

1. Immediately contact social security upon receipt of a denial letter.

2. Complete the appeal forms as soon as they are received.

3. Mail them in to social security as soon as they are completed.

Quite often, the opposite of this is true. Claimants who have received a disability denial will very often wait several weeks before they even request an appeal and many will wait until close to the 60 day deadline to get the appeal paperwork completed and submitted.

Why does this happen? In many cases, feelings of depression may accompany having been denied on a disability claim. However, claimants who have been denied should always do the following:

1. Request an appeal immediately upon learning of being denied.

2. Complete and return the appeal forms immediately after receiving them.

Why is it so important to react quickly after a denial of social security disability or SSI benefits has occurred? Because waiting simply adds processing time to your case.

Also, the more time that elapses between the denial of an initial claim and the processing of a reconsideration (a reconsideration is the first appeal that is available to claimants who have been denied), the more likely it is that the medical records that were previously submitted to social security will become too old to use. Yes, these medical records can still be evaluated but for a disability examiner to make a decision on a disability claim, the examiner must also generally have access to some records that are not older than sixty days.

What happens if the records "age out"? Most likely, when the reconsideration appeal is being processed, the reconsideration examiner (who is different from the initial claim examiner) will have to schedule a claimant for a consultative medical exam (often referred to as the "social security medical examination). This, of course, only adds more time to the processing of a disability case, sometimes as much as several weeks.

For this reason, it is apparent and obvious that a claimant who has been denied should file an appeal immediately and waste no time doing this.

Now, back to the question of using a disability lawyer to potentially speed up the process. If you have case representation, you can inform your lawyer that you have been denied (your lawyer will receive copies of everything that is mailed to you, but you should still contact your lawyer, just in case they do not receive their copy) and they should file your appeal for you.

As stated, the current requirements are that attorneys and disability representatives must file their appeals online so the appeal should always be filed on a timely basis provided the representative is properly notified of a denial taht has occurred.

Having said this, however, it is always safest for claimants who are represented by a disability lawyer to follow up with their lawyer to ensure that certain actions have been followed through on, and this includes the filing of disability appeals by the attorney or representative.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Do Lawyers Improve The Chances of Winning Social Security Disability or SSI?
Can a Lawyer Speed Up My Disability Case?
Do I need a lawyer to win my disability case?
What is the process for approving a Social Security disability claim?
When does a case go to the Social Security Disability review board?
How long will an SSI or SSDI disability claim take?
Using a lawyer to potentially speed up the disability appeal process
Speeding up the Social Security Disability or SSI Claim Process
Social Security Award Letter and being due a substantial back pay amount
Reasons to get a representative who specializes in disability claims only
When you apply for social security disability should you send copies of your xrays?
Getting approved for disability based on being blind
How to answer questions at a Social Security Disability CE examination
What disability claimants get angry about - Part II
How does Social Security consider pain?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

How to file for disability, filing tips
What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
Will you get disability back pay?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
Social Security Disability SSI status
Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
Qualifications for Disability Benefits
Important points about filing for disability
How long does it take to get disability after applying?
Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
Who is eligible for SSI disability?
How to get disability in Florida