New Jersey Social Security Disability Appeal Attorney
Learn How to Appeal Your Denial
Unfortunately, a large majority of the individuals who go through the Social Security Disability application process are denied their first time around. In fact, in New Jersey, the approval rate for first-time applicants is 43.5%. This means that more than half of the people who apply for benefits are denied. This is why the Social Security Administration allows for appeals when an initial application is denied.
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The Reconsideration Process in New Jersey
The first step in appealing a denial of benefits is the reconsideration process. This is a step that a number of states have eliminated altogether, but New Jersey still requires applicants to go through this process before they can request an administrative law judge hearing. In order to request a reconsideration, you must do so within 60 days from the date your initial application is denied. During the reconsideration process, 85% of the cases are denied. However, you must go through this process to take the next step.
The Administrative Law Judge Hearing
After you have completed the reconsideration process—if denied—you can request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge, or ALJ. The approval rate for this process goes up to roughly 60% and allows applicants to present their case again. During the disability hearing, you will most likely go through some of the same steps you did in your initial hearing.
Some things that may help your case include:
- Evidence of the injury (medical records)
- Records of any changes in health since the initial application
- Letters from employers or caregivers
- Testimony of a vocational expert
The Final Ruling
If you are denied benefits after the ALJ hearing, there are two more steps that you can take. These are the Appeals Council and the Federal District Court. Having an attorney during the entire process can help. It is important to know what happens at the end of the process. If you are approved for benefits, you may either be awarded partial or total disability benefits. Partial disability mean that you can still work, but you cannot perform the duties you once did and the benefits may make up for a decrease in income. Total disability means you can no longer perform any job duty and the benefits may cover lost wages, lost future earning capacity, and lost future wages.
At Levinson Axelrod, P.A., our New Jersey Social Security disability appeal lawyers know how to navigate the appeals process. We know what must be shown and how to represent clients to the best of our ability. We aim to help you secure the compensation benefits you need after an injury prevents you from working.
Ready to discuss your options? Call us at (732) 440-3089 today.