Anyone in Washington who is no longer able to work because of an accident or illness might be desperate for financial assistance. While help is available through the Social Security Disability Insurance system, most applications are denied at the initial filing. To prevent fraudulent claims, the Social Security Administration has meticulous requirements and standards, and any applicants are free to tackle the long and complicated appeals process if their applications are denied.
The first level of appeal is to file a request for the SSA to reconsider the application, during which process a different person from the one who denied the initial claim will re-evaluate it. If this person affirms the rejection, a hearing before an administrative law judge can be requested. For this, the SSA might require additional information, and the applicant may present expert witnesses.
If the ALJ also confirms the denial, an SSA Appeals Council can be requested to review the application. Strict standards exist by which the Appeals Council will accept or reject the application for appeal. If such a request is refused, or the Appeals Council also denies the claim, the applicant has the right to go ahead and file an appeal in federal district court.
For anyone who suffered a debilitating illness or injury, the entire appeals process might be overwhelming. Fortunately, an experienced Washington Social Security Disability Insurance attorney can provide support and guidance to simplify the various proceedings. Legal counsel who is sought from the start can explain the process and the various deadlines, assist with gathering the necessary documentation and corroborating evidence before presenting the case to the convince a federal judge that previous decisions were inherently unreasonable.