Claims and Appeals to Win Your SSDI Benefits
Has your Social Security Disability claim been rejected? Are you worried you will be turned down? You need to know that most people are turned down the first time they apply. You need to know that is not the end of the story.
Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC, has helped thousands of clients across Ohio win disability benefits and back pay. From initial claims to ALJ hearings and beyond, we have prevailed at every level of the Social Security Disability process. We are here to fight for you!
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The experienced and compassionate attorneys of Hoglund Law will take your case as far as necessary to win your benefits. Call day or night at 855-513-4844.
The SSDI/SSI Disability Claims Process
Every case is unique and fact-specific. We cannot speed up the Social Security Administration bureaucracy or shorten the backlog of hearings and appeals. We do position clients to obtain their full benefits and win those needed benefits at the earliest stage possible.
Your initial application is evaluated by a state agency hired by Social Security. The claim examiners will order copies of your medical records and sometimes send you to a doctor for an independent medical examination (IME) at their expense.
An initial decision to approve or deny your disability claim is based on Social Security guidelines. You must meet the listed criteria of a qualifying physical or mental impairment, or qualify under alternative criteria such as special considerations for claimants over age 50.
You should not be surprised or lose hope if you are denied at the initial level. In our experience, about 75 percent of all initial applications are denied. Claimants have 60 days to notify Social Security that they wish to appeal.
If your initial claim is denied, you can request that your claim be formally reviewed through the Reconsideration process. The state agency that made your initial determination will re-evaluate your case and update the medical evidence in your file. The state agency then decides, based on the new medical evidence, if the prior decision was correct. In our experience, approximately 90 percent of all reconsidered claims are denied again at this stage. However, too many discouraged claimants make the mistake of giving up. Claimants have 60 days to request a hearing before an administrative law judge.
Although it takes more than a year (16 months or more) to get a hearing date, a hearing before an administrative law judge is your best chance to get a favorable decision. Approximately 55 percent of all claims are approved at the ALJ hearing level. Those represented by an attorney have the greatest odds of success, statistically speaking. Hoglund Law has a demonstrated record of winning benefits and back pay at this level.
The ALJ hearing represents the first opportunity to speak to a live person who has the ability to approve your claim. The informal proceeding takes 45 to 60 minutes, but covers a lot of ground — your testimony, questions from the judge, input from medical and vocational experts, and cross-examination by your attorney. Read more about your disability hearing.
The best thing you can do is to continue treating with your doctors and keep a journal about the impact of your disability on daily life. We will make sure your medical records are updated and complete, and help you prepare to make your case at the hearing. If the judge’s decision is not favorable, you have 60 days to appeal to the Appeals Council.
The Appeals Council is the last administrative review within the Social Security system. The Appeals Council does not hold a new hearing but rather reviews the evidence to ensure that the administrative law judge did not make an error in applying the regulations to the facts in your case.
As your lawyers, we submit written arguments to the Appeals Council stating why the administrative law judge’s decision was in error. The Appeals Council may uphold the ALJ decision, reverse the decision and find that you are disabled, or send your case back to the administrative law judge for a new hearing.
Due to administrative delays, it can take from 18 to 36 months for your claim to be reviewed by the Appeals Council. Approximately 80 percent of all claims brought to the Appeals Council are denied, upholding the ALJ ruling.
After an unfavorable Appeals Council decision, you would have 60 days to file a formal lawsuit with the United States District Court, seeking review of Social Security’s final decision. Although you are permitted to represent yourself at this level, the technical and legal requirements of filing a District Court claim may call for the expertise of a trained attorney. Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC, has argued Social Security Disability appeals in both the Northern and Southern districts of Ohio federal courts.
Ohio Disability Insurance Claims and Appeals Lawyers
Hoglund Law can knowledgeably and vigorously represent you at any stage of your case. Call us day or night at 855-513-4844 (toll free) or contact us to arrange a free consultation. We have a convenient office near you and we can make home visits.