On average, ~seventy percent (70%) of those who apply for Social Security Disability [“SSD”] benefits are denied. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU HAVE LOST YOUR CASE. Rather, we have the opportunity to present your case to a Judge at a hearing. This is commonly known as an “appeal” of the denial of your initial application.

We need your help to request a hearing timely. By law, we have to do so—and provide updated information as appropriate—within ~60 days from the date of the notice that denied your initial application. DON’T PANIC. Here’s what you can do to help us help you.

If we helped you with your initial application, we usually have enough information to request a hearing on your behalf. You can help us by advising us about anything that is different about your disabling conditions or medical treatment since you first applied. For example, do you have a new condition diagnosed after you first applied? Are you seeing a new doctor or taking a new medication? We need that information as part of requesting a hearing for you.

If we did not help you with your initial application, we recommend that you do the following AS SOON AS POSSIBLE:

Go to https://secure.ssa.gov/iApplsRe/start

Read GETTING READY before you work on requesting the hearing. It will make the process easier.

Click on “Start a New Appeal.”

Answer the questions posed by Social Security to the best of your ability. When you are done PLEASE CLICK ON “SAVE & EXIT.” You will be asked are you sure you want to exit? THEN CLICK ON “YES, I WANT TO EXIT.” This will generate a “re-entry” number for you.

Please send us an e-mail with the re-entry number so that we can review how you answered the questions from Social Security. Once we review it, and make any necessary corrections, you can submit it electronically.

Right before the final submission of the completed “appeal,” we ask you to check the prompt allowing the electronic medical records authorization (even if you already signed a paper authorization).

We have the option of submitting to Social Security attachments with additional information, including medical records. We recommend that you allow us to review any attachments before you send them to Social Security.

Once your appeal has been submitted, look for a confirmation notice that Social Security received your appeal. Be sure to keep all electronic and paper confirmations that you receive.

Finally, when can you expect to appear before a Judge at a hearing? For more information about this, including the criteria for an expedited hearing based on a “dire need,” check out https://modicalawfirm.com/am-i-entitled-to-an-expedited-hearing/

Social Security provides some of our clients with the opportunity to have their cases heard by Judges who do not sit in person in Rochester, New York. Rather, these Judges hear cases by Videoconference from special “national hearing center” units in places like Baltimore, Maryland and Falls Church, Virginia.

Social Security decides who gets this opportunity—we do NOT. Typically, cases heard by videoconference are heard sooner than cases heard in person in Rochester. IN OUR EXPERIENCE, YOU WILL WAIT FOR MORE THAN 18 MONTHS TO APPEAR BEFORE A JUDGE EVEN IF YOUR CASE IS HEARD BY AN OUT-OF-TOWN JUDGE BY VIDEOCONFERENCE.

You have the right to decline a videoconference hearing if you wish. Please discuss with us the pros and cons of using the Videoconferencing technology. Here is some information from Social Security that you may find helpful https://www.ssa.gov/appeals/pubs/70-067.pdf

Thank you for working with us on this important part of your case!

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