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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.
Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center
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The SSI Disability Benefits Program
Medical exams for disability claims
Applying for Disability in various states
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Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews
Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children
Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative
What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials
Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits
FAQ on Disability Claim Representation
Disability hearings before Judges
Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers
Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits
Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability
Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children
Disability Benefits through Social Security
Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records
Filing your claim for disability benefits
Eligibility for receiving disability benefits
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
Resources on this site
Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
About the Author of SSDRC, Tim Moore
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What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
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Will you get disability back pay?
Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
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