It can be devastating for a California applicant to learn that his or her Social Security claim came back denied. If someone is applying for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration, it is because a mental or physical condition precludes that individual from holding gainful employment. While a denied claim is a setback, it is not the end of the road. Eventually, it may be necessary to request a hearing with an administrative law judge.
Disability applicants have the right to appeal after a denied claim. There are certain levels of appeals, and a hearing may be the last level in the agency appeals process. An applicant can request a hearing within 60 days after receiving a denial letter. It is beneficial to submit the hearing request promptly and seek the counsel of an experienced disability benefits attorney.
While having the counsel of an attorney is not a requirement of a hearing before an ALJ, it is highly recommended. A lawyer can help a California applicant prepare his or her case, make it compelling and meet all requirements for this step. It is also helpful to have assistance with gathering any additional documentation that may be necessary for the hearing.
An applicant would be wise to seek this help as soon as possible after receiving a denied claim. It is not necessary to take even the first step of the appeals process alone. Experienced guidance can ensure that all required steps are taken and unnecessary setbacks are avoided, giving the applicant a higher chance of a successful hearing.