Pennsylvania Allows Direct Social Security Disability Appeals
In many states, when the Social Security Administration denies your application for Social Security disability benefits, you must file for a “reconsideration.” This process, also known as a “paper review,” is nothing more than a replay of your first application: you submit your forms and paperwork again to the same office, but a different disability examiner reads the file and makes a determination.
It may not surprise you to learn that more than 85 percent of denials that get a reconsideration are denied again. Disability examiners get the same training and are told to apply the same standards. Unless the first examiner was having a terrible day and missed something obvious in your file, his or her coworker is not going to find any reason to approve you. Of course, in the time since you first applied, you might have gotten new medical information, so including additional facts could get the approval you seek. But, on the whole, reconsiderations have proved so useless that many states, including Pennsylvania, have done away with them entirely.
In Pennsylvania, your case can move directly to a disability hearing, where you can have an attorney represent you and you can present evidence to support your application. An administrative law judge hears your case and renders a decision. However, to get a hearing, you must act quickly. The Social Security Administration requires you to file a request for a hearing within 60 days of receiving your denial.
An SSD attorney can be a great help throughout the appeal process and vastly improve your chances of success on appeal. More than 60 percent of applicants who have legal representation for their appeals are able to get approval.
If you have questions about the best way to proceed with your SSD appeal, contact an experienced attorney at Rudberg Law Offices, LLC to schedule a free consultation.