How Do I Appeal the Decision Made on My Claim?
The four levels of appeal as follows:
3. Appeals Council Review of the Hearing Decision
4. Civil Suit in Federal Court.
If your initial claim is denied, you have 60 days (plus five days mail time) from the date on your notice to file an appeal. The first appeal is a Request for Reconsideration. If the Reconsideration is denied, you have 60 days to file a Request for Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
At the initial and reconsideration levels, your claim is reviewed by the Division of Disability Determination Services. Unfortunately, approximately 90% of all claims are denied at the initial and reconsideration levels.
After your claim has been denied through the reconsideration level, you can file a Request for Hearing before and Administrative Law Judge. At this level, you will have the opportunity to appear in person and give testimony regarding your medical condition and how it limits your ability to sustain work activity.
Unfortunately, the Tampa Bay Area has one of the largest backlogs in cases awaiting a hearing in the United States. It takes almost 2 to 3 years from the time of the initial application to get a hearing! The sooner you file your initial application, the sooner you will get a hearing!
Answering these broad-based questions isn't easy. Help is a phone call away. You can contact Nancy Cavey, an experienced long-term disability attorney at 727-894-3188.