Although the Social Security Administration is a federally operated program, each state has an Office of Disability Adjudication and Review and Disability Determination Services Bureau. The appeals branch of a state’s disability services is ODAR. If the SSA initially denies your claim due to lack of evidence proving your medical condition is disabling, the staff of ODAR will collect additional documentation from you and your disability attorney before scheduling an appeals hearing. An administrative law judge presides over a disability appeal hearing. This judge reviews all documents supporting your claim and makes the decision to either approve or deny your Social Security disability claim.
Are Most Appeals Approved by an Administrative Law Judge?
Some judges overseeing a disability appeal hearing have higher rates of approval than others, which may influence a person’s chance of winning their appeal. ALJs serving in their state establish that state’s approval averages within the ODAR. While your odds of having an initial disability denial overturned is partly based on the ALJ’s approval rating, other factors like the appeal level of a disability claim and whether your are represented at the hearing by a disability lawyer will significantly impact the decision of the ALJ.
Reconsideration (second) appeals go to the same Disability Determination Services Bureau that initially denied validity of your disabling medical condition. However, the second decision is made by an examiner who did not make the first decision. Unfortunately, having a different disability reviewer does not improve your chance of getting approved for Social Security disability.
Should I Hire a Disability Lawyer If My Disability Claim was Initially Denied?
If you have never filed for Social Security disability benefits or filed on your own and were denied, consider contacting London Eligibility to speak to an experienced disability attorney about your case. Being represented by legal counsel throughout the filing and appeals process will significantly improve your chance of being approved to receive monthly benefits for a disabling medical condition.