Disability benefits provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) are a safety net for millions of Americans who never expected to become disabled.
If you suffer an illness or injury that prevents you from working and your application for disability benefits is denied, you’re going to be worried. How will you access necessary medical care and pay your bills? If your claim for Social Security disability benefits has been denied in Florida, read this article to learn what you should do, how to appeal, and how a disability lawyer can help.
If you were denied disability benefits at the initial level, you can appeal the decision by filing a Request for Reconsideration. This needs to be done within 60 days of when your denial was issued. Your claim will then be sent to a different examiner, but unfortunately many reconsideration decisions also result in a denial. If this is the outcome for your case, the next step is to request to have a hearing. This will be before an administrative law judge (ALJ) who will make a decision on your claim.
When reconsideration is not approved, you can file another appeal. Then, you can have a disability hearing held by an administrative law judges (ALJs). This will determine if you cannot work due to your condition and qualify for benefits. The ALJ will review your claim and accompanying documentation and determine whether your disability application should be approved or denied. These hearings are conducted at the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) closest to you.
The Atlanta Region, which has 40 offices, handles disability applications and appeals for Social Security Disability benefits in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Florida has eight offices, located in the following cities:
- Fort Lauderdale HO
- Fort Myers HO
- Jacksonville HO
- Miami HO
- Orlando HO
- St. Petersburg HO
- Tallahassee HO
- Tampa HO
Many disability applicants who were denied at the reconsideration stage are approved when an AHJ hears their claim. Should you not be successful, the next step is to go to the SSA Appeals Council, which may or may not agree to review your case. Should it decline, you will have to file a lawsuit in federal court.
Once the appeals process begins, you should consider retaining a Florida Social Security Disability lawyer. Disability applicants who use a lawyer not only have a greater chance of being approved, but they also have valuable legal support during a complex and difficult time in their lives.
Social Security disability benefits can help you pay your family's living expenses and make sure you have access to medical care when you cannot work. The process of appealing can be complicated, however, and retaining an SSD attorney that takes cases in Florida can help you navigate all the requirements.
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