Social Security Steps

Initial Application

We begin by filing your application online during your first visit. Social Security decides if you meet the non-disability requirements of the law. For example, they decide if you worked enough to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, and whether your resources make you eligible for Supplemental Security Income benefits. The Disability Determination will consider all the medical facts in your case and decide if you are disabled. You can usually expect a decision to be made in about 90 days; however, Social Security has no set time limits for decisions to be made.

Reconsideration

If denied, I will file a Request for Reconsideration. You have 60 days from the time you receive the decision to file an appeal to the next level. At the Reconsideration level, your file is reviewed by persons other than those who made the original decision. You can usually expect a decision in approximately 120 days.

Hearing

If your Request for Reconsideration is denied, I will file a Request for Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Once your case is at the Office of Adjudication and Review, I will have access to your file. After review, I will request all of the necessary medical records. When your hearing is scheduled, I will prepare you for the hearing and will be attending with you. It usually takes about 13-14 months to get a hearing scheduled. After you have had your hearing, you can expect a decision in approximately 3 months.

Appeals Council

If you are denied by an Administrative Law Judge, you can appeal your case to the Appeals Council. They will review your case if they feel the judge made a mistake in deciding the facts of your case, or a mistake in applying the law. These appeals take approximately 9 months.

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