Seattle disability lawyers explain the appeals process

Both nationally and in the state of Washington, Social Security disability benefits applications are denied more often than not. There is no reason, however, for a denial letter to mark the end of your claim. Four avenues of appeal are available to you: reconsideration; administrative hearing; Appeals Council review; and federal court review.

You may file a Request for Reconsideration online or, if you prefer, call the Social Security Administration and schedule a time to file your appeal in person or by telephone. Whichever method you choose, be prepared to explain how, if at all, your disability situation has changed since your initial application, and to provide updated medical information and a current medications list.

If your request for reconsideration is denied, you may request a hearing before an administrative law judge. The hearing allows you to speak directly to the individual who will rule on your claim and to explain how your impairment affects your daily activities and your ability to work. Perhaps because of this personal interaction, more than half of all Social Security disability claimants who pursue their claim to an administrative hearing are awarded benefits.

If, however, the administrative law judge denies your claim, you may seek review from the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council will either (1) deny your request for review (if it believes the administrative law judge’s decision was correct), (2) return your case to the administrative law judge for further review, or (3) decide your case itself. If you are unhappy with the Appeals Council’s action on your claim, you may seek relief by filing a lawsuit in federal court.

Seattle disability attorneys, Douglas Drachler McKee & Gilbrough, LLP, can help you navigate the appeals process

While it is possible to pursue your appeal on your own, even the Social Security Administration acknowledges that your chances of obtaining benefits improve if you rely on the advice of an experienced disability lawyer. We have been helping King County disability claimants since 1977. If you would like to talk with a knowledgeable Seattle disability attorney about your claim for benefits, please submit the Free Claim Evaluation form on this page, or call or email us directly.

Douglas Drachler McKee & Gilbrough, LLP
Seattle disability attorneys

1904 Third Ave
Suite 1030
Seattle, WA 98101

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