How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay
Social Security Disability appeals in South Carolina
There are actually several levels that comprise the appeal system for individuals who have been denied on a Social Security Disability or SSI disability claim in South Carolina.
Those levels are 1. the disability hearing before an administrative law judge, 2. the appeals council, which reviews denials made by disability judges, and 3. federal district court (for individuals who have been denied by a disability judge and have also been denied by the appeals council).
What are the most important things to keep in mind regarding disability appeals? Here's a short list that applies to all Social Security Disability appeals and SSI appeals, regardless of the the level your claim is at.
1. All disability appeals must be received by the social security administration within sixty-five days of the date of your last denial. This does not mean that appeals must be submitted within sixty-five days, but, rather, that the social security administration must actually receive an appeal by the sixty-fifth day. If you receive a denial notice from the social security administration, you will notice that sixty days are given to submit appeals.
However, claimants are also allowed an additional five days for mail time, giving all denied claimants a total of 65 days to submit their appeals.
2. When submitting appeals for disability, you should be sure to clearly indicate on the appeal forms your most recent medical treatment, including the names of the doctors and hospitals where you have been treated as well as the dates of treatment. By doing this, you can help to ensure that your SSD or SSI disability claim will be reviewed properly.
Without doing this, the disability examiner or disability judge reviewing your claim may be unaware of medical treatment you've received and, as a consequence, those medical records may not be gathered or reviewed.
3. If you have a disability attorney assisting you on your case, allow this individual to submit the necessary appeals for your Social Security Disability or SSI case. To faciliate this, you should contact your attorney whenever you receive a notice of denial from social security. And, for that matter, it would be best to contact your disability attorney whenever you receive correspondence from SSA.
Why should you do this? For this reason: although the social security administration is required to send copies of all letters and notices to your disability lawyer, this doesn't always happen. So, whenever you receive correspondence regarding your case, you should contact your lawyer just in case they don't receive their copy of what SSA has sent you.
4. Disability appeals can take a very long time to process. In the case of reconsiderations (reconsiderations are the second step in the federal appeals system), it may take one to four months to receive a decision or, in some cases, longer than half a year. In the case of disability hearings, it can take much longer. Disability hearings can take 1-2 years to get scheduled and after a hearing has been held, it can take several months to receive a decision.
5. Disability appeals have different rates of approval depending on the level of the Social Security Disability and SSI appeals system that your claim is currently at. Reconsiderations have a very high rate of denial (on average, about 81%), while disability hearings are won by at least half of all disability claimants.
6. If you are scheduled for a disability hearing before an administrative law judge, consider finding representation if you haven't already. Having a disability advocate or lawyer can significantly improve your chances of winning benefits at the hearing level.
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For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.
The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.
To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.