What if I get denied benefits?

Most individuals applying for benefits are initially denied. It is important to understand that the initial determination is often proven to be a wrong determination. Once a claim is denied, a strict 60-day deadline is imposed requiring an applicant to file an appeal in a timely manner. Failure to file a timely appeal will require an applicant to start over and re-file an initial application. After the initial determination is made, a request for reconsideration is filed. Most individuals who are denied initially are also denied on reconsideration. After a second denial is received, an individual may file a request for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). A hearing provides an individual, and an appointed representative, the opportunity to appear before an ALJ to present evidence and make arguments in support of a favorable determination. A hearing also allows an experienced representative to cross-examine a vocational expert and or medical expert who is called to testify at the hearing.