Denied Disability Benefits Claim Attorneys in Ohio
If you have applied for and been denied Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, then you have a limited amount of time to act if you want to preserve your right to retroactive payments by appealing your denial. You should not try to handle your appeal alone. There are a lot of ways you can go wrong and create even longer delays in resolving your claim.
Call Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., L.P.A., to discuss your options and get help with your appeal. Our team has more than 200 years of combined legal experience, and our attorneys have a proven track record of success on behalf of disability claimants throughout northeastern Ohio. With five offices located throughout the region, we will do everything we can to make it easy and convenient for you to get skilled legal representation at each step of your SSD benefits case. Contact us today for a free case review.
Why Was Your SSD Benefits Claim Denied?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) receives all submitted applications for Social Security Disability benefits, including those for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). However, each state processes its own disability claims. So, in Ohio, SSA sends claims to the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities’ Division of Disability Determination. DDD follows federal regulations when it assesses whether an applicant meets the medical requirements for SSD benefits.
DDD will deny a benefit claim if it fails to meet medical and/or technical requirements. Technical reasons are, by far, the cause for most denials. This is unfortunate, given that technical denials have nothing to do with the merits or validity of the claim. A technical denial could be based on incorrect paperwork, a missed deadline or the failure to submit the right type of forms or submit them to the right office.
A medical denial, on the other hand, doesn’t actually mean that you are not disabled. Instead, it just means that, based on the medical evidence you provided, DDD determined that you were not eligible for benefits. For instance, you may have proven that you have a disabling condition, but you failed to show why the particular condition prevented you from working. If you can demonstrate that connection, DDD may ultimately allow your claim. For this reason, if DDD denies your claim, you should immediately pick up the phone and get help from an experienced Social Security disability lawyer at Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., L.P.A. We can help you to appeal the denial.
Filing a Request for Reconsideration – Your First Step in an Appeal
Social Security disability cases are considered a form of administrative law. In other words, an administrative agency is in charge of deciding the case –
not a court. In an administrative law case, it is imperative that you follow procedures precisely. Failure to follow even one step could preclude you from advancing to the next step.
So, if you are denied SSD benefits, you must file a request for reconsideration within 60 days from the denial date. At this stage, your claim will be reviewed by someone from DDD who had no role in deciding your claim initially. At this stage, your lawyer can help you to provide new evidence to DDD, including crucial medical evidence that you may have failed to previously provide.
The Hearing Stage
If DDD denies your claim, again, then you have 60 days from that denial date to request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). Once you appeal and request a hearing, you will be placed on a waiting list for a hearing at your nearest Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). The following ODAR offices serve Ohio:
You will be notified at least 20 days prior to the scheduled hearing of the date, time and location. You and your attorney will need to appear in order to present your case to the ALJ, including presenting the testimony of medical and vocational expert witnesses. In some cases, the ALJ will announce the decision at the end of the hearing, but the judge may still wait a few weeks or months to issue a written opinion that contains findings of fact and conclusions of law. If the ALJ approves your claim, then you can start receiving benefits as soon as the opinion is issued and your claim is processed.
Other Levels of Appeal
If the ALJ denies your claim, you can still continue to appeal. The next two possible stages would be:
- Appeals Council review – You could obtain a reversal at this stage if the ALJ made a substantial legal error or abused his or her discretion. This is the last level of administrative review of your claim.
- Federal court review – If you have gone through all administrative levels of appeal, then you can file a lawsuit in the nearest U.S. District Court.
As your appeal progresses, the arguments become more technical. For this reason, it is important to have an experienced attorney at your side who has a thorough understanding of disability benefits law and procedure.
Our Ohio SSD Benefits Claim Attorneys Are Here for You
A permanent disability can be the result of many different things such as declining physical health, an auto accident or even a work-related injury. At Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill, Co., L.P.A., we know how much a disability can impair your life and put you and your family in financial distress. For this reason, we have committed ourselves to helping those with disabilities throughout northeastern Ohio to pursue the benefits they deserve.
If your claim for SSDI or SSI benefits recently was denied, contact us through one of our five offices in Ohio to schedule a free consultation about your case. We won’t get paid for helping you unless you get the disability benefits that you deserve. Let us help you and your family today.