For New Jersey residents who have tried to get Social Security disability benefits and had their claim denied, the disappointment can combine with worry as to what they are going to do next. For many, the disability benefits are a necessary aspect of making ends meet. When there is a denial, it can be problematic for a variety of reasons. While one might know that there is an appeals process for all aspects of SSD benefits, many will be unaware that they have a good chance of having the decision overturned and getting an approval for benefits if they appeal.
There are four levels of appeal in a disability case and having legal assistance is imperative for all of them. When there is a hearing before an administrative law judge, it will be after the reconsideration portion of the appeals process. At the ALJ hearing, the claimant, ALJ and, generally, a staff member will be present. Those who are using the services of an attorney will have the attorney present as well. During the hearing, there will be a chance for experts to give testimony about the case. A claimant can have family and friends there, if desired.
The ALJ asks questions of the claimant so a decision can be made. The goal is to come to a fair decision with the facts as the foundation. Having an experienced legal professional who has helped many clients in these hearings is vital for the case, during the hearing, and, especially before the hearing, when the claimant will be prepared to answer the questions and provide evidence as to why SSD benefits are needed.
After the ALJ hearing, a denial will make it necessary to move forward to the Appeals Council. If that doesn't succeed in receiving benefits, it can go to the Federal Court Appeals process. An attorney who has extensive experience at SSD benefit cases and all levels of appeal is key to a case. While many decisions in which there was a denial are changed at some point when appealing, it is crucial to have an attorney who is widely experienced in Social Security disability cases to guide a client through the process.