Indeed, the process of applying for Social Security disability benefits in Florida can be long and frustrating. In addition to such a lengthy time frame, the Social Security Administration rejects a large majority of initial applications. For those who have the misfortune of being rejected, there is an appeals process.
Reconsideration is the first step in the appeals process. The goal of a reconsideration appeal is to have petitions reviewed by someone who was not involved with the initial application consider both old and new evidence, using three processes, to reconsider a decision. The case review process, which is typical for medical condition appeals, does not include any meetings. However, formal conferences can be requested if the SSA alters or stops benefits.
If reconsideration is unsuccessful, there are additional steps to the appeals process, including hearings before an administrative law judge, review by the SSA’s review council, as well as formal lawsuits in federal court. Nevertheless, it is crucial to initiate an appeal within the 60 day window allowed by statute.
It is also helpful to contact an attorney within a reasonable time, so that he or she may evaluate your initial petition, correct any previous errors or shortcomings and prepare a strong appeal. In doing so, an experienced Florida disability law attorney will be able to advise you of what lies ahead, and provide reasonable timelines for SSA’s response.
If you have questions about starting a petition for Social Security disability benefits, or are wary of appealing a rejection, an experienced disability law attorney can advise you.