If you lost your claim for Social Security disability benefits before an Administrative Law Judge – you can appeal
If the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) denied your claim for Social Security disability benefits at the conclusion of a Social Security disability hearing, you can ask for an appeal and review of the ALJ’s decision. The first step of review is done by a group of judges called the Appeals Council.
The Appeals Council Process
If you disagree with the judge’s decision and want to continue fighting for your benefits, you will need to request formally that the Appeals Council review the hearing decision. You can use form HA-520-U5, Request for Review of Hearing Decision/Order of an Administrative Law Judge. On the form, you will need to provide a brief, convincing reason why the Appeals Council should either overturn your decision or remand the case for a new hearing.
Many people get upset at this level because they are mad the ALJ didn’t “believe” them. However, the Appeals Council will not review factual decisions made by the ALJ – things like how much the ALJ determined you could walk, sit, stand, lift or if the ALJ believed your pain was so severe you need help walking, etc. The Appeals Council only looks to see if the ALJ made legal errors, i.e applied the rules correctly. Because Appeals Council review is all about legal errors, filing an Appeals Council review without an attorney will likely be denied. Winning an Appeals Council appeal requires you to know all the rules/ laws the ALJ was supposed to follow, and then you must show the rules were violated and that if they had not been violated the outcome would have been different. Meeting this requirement is you are not familiar with Social Security disability laws, regulations, and internal requirements is basically impossible.
If your case was denied at a hearing by an ALJ, call Chad Brown Law today. We have an entire division in our firm that solely handles appeals of hearing denials. We routinely review cases where people lose their case after using another attorney at the hearing or where they represented themselves at the hearing. Please, if you have been denied at the hearing, act quickly because you have only 60 days after the hearing decision letter to file your request for a hearing review. If you miss the deadline, the Administration can deny your request for review, and you might be denied the right for any further review. Call Chad Brown Law today at (336) 546-5066 to see if we can appeal your wrongful ALJ denial.