Jim, in San Diego, California, asks “If a judge denies my Social Security Disability claim, what do I do?”
If the Administrative Law judge hearing your case decides to deny your claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you can either pursue the case to the next level of appeal at the Appeals Council or you can file a brand new social security claim.
If you decide to request the decision to be reviewed by the Appeals Council, you will definitely want to be represented by an attorney that specializes in SSDI and SSI. The Appeals Council will usually make one of the following decisions:
• Deny the request
• Overturn the Administrative Law Judge’s decision
• Determine that the judge made a mistake and will remand the case
Most decisions from an Administrative Law Judge that are brought before the Appeals Council are denied. Very rarely with the Appeals Council overturn the judge’s decision. A remanded case will occasionally happen. A remand is when a claim is sent back for a second hearing, on the grounds that the Administrative Law Judge made a technical error, failed to consider medical evidence, or reached an improper conclusion.
The chances at winning at an Appeals Council are very low. Most of the time, you are better off just filing a new SSDI or SSI claim.
If your claim is denied by an Administrative Law Judge, you should seek the advice of a qualified Social Security Disability attorney.