When you can’t work, it can cause financial suffering for your whole family. You need an income to pay for medical needs, groceries, rent and other daily needs. When you aren’t able to maintain gainful income, you know how important it is to secure disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. You may also know how disappointing it is to learn that your claim came back denied.
Denied claims are unfortunately common. Many initial claims come back denied, but that does not mean that it is the end of the road for you. You may have grounds to move forward with the appeals process. There are certain steps you can take that will allow you to continue your pursuit of the benefits you need to support yourself and your Ohio family.
Preparing for your hearing
After your claim comes back denied, it will feel like a setback, but there are certain things you can do to keep fighting to secure benefits. After a denied claim, you can seek a reconsideration of your claim. This is exactly what it sounds like. The SSA will look at your claim and the documentation you provided again to determine if you are eligible for disability benefits.
If a reconsideration of your claim is not successful, you may request a hearing with an administrative law judge. This is an opportunity to have someone listen to your case in person, and you will be able to speak for yourself during the hearing. You must request this type of hearing within 60 days of a denied reconsideration. At the hearing, you can expect the following things to happen:
- You will receive notice of your hearing from the SSA at least 20 days before the date you will need to appear.
- At the hearing, you and others who will testify will swear in before speaking.
- Vocational experts and medical professionals can speak on your behalf, testifying to the impact that your condition has on your ability to work.
- The SSA can also send people to testify and speak to its decision to deny your claim.
- After hearing testimony and listening to witnesses, the judge will make a ruling regarding your claim.
It can be helpful to have assistance as you prepare for your hearing. Many disability applicants find it beneficial to have the support and guidance of a disability attorney who knows the process and can help them fight for the benefits they need. Before you request a hearing or even complete your initial claim, you may want to seek an explanation of your legal options.