Because you suffered a stroke, you submitted a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA), which is the federal government agency that reviews SSDI applications denied your claim.
With nearly two-thirds of all SSDI claims coming back denied, do you have any other options to receive the financial help you need to cope with a stroke? The answer is yes, and it involves requesting an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing.
What to Expect from an ALJ Hearing
The bad news is the SSA denies almost 66 percent of all SSDI claims. On the other hand, the good news is an ALJ hearing, which represents the appeal process for a denied SSDI claim, reverses denied SSDI claims 50 percent of the time.
Requesting an ALJ hearing allows you to present more convincing evidence than what you presented with the initial SSDI benefits claim. The first item on your to do list is to stop by the closest Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) location to schedule an appointment. A representative from the ODAR reviews your request for a hearing to determine the next step in the process.
If the ODAR approves your request for an ALJ hearing, the judge presiding over your case asks questions concerning the medical evidence that indicates that you suffered a stroke.
The judge is especially interested in examining evidence surrounding the diagnosis of symptoms, as well as any treatment and rehabilitation regimens you went through or are currently undergoing. A stroke typically requires extensive rehabilitation that can last for years.
You also should prepare to discuss how the stroke has limited your ability to complete standard job functions. The point of SSDI is to help disabled workers make financial ends meet while they recover from a medical condition such as stroke.
Tips on How to Win an Appeal
The key to winning an appeal filed for SSDI benefits it to submit evidence that confirms the serious side effects of a stroke have made it impossible for you to work in the position you held before suffering the stroke. Evidence should come in the form of documentation signed by licensed and properly credentialed healthcare professionals.
You should also ask medical experts close to your case to testify to the legitimacy of your medical condition during the ALJ hearing. Hearing first hand accounts of the negative impact of a stroke can persuade the judge to rule in your favor.
Make sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the hearing. Arriving early demonstrates you are serious about proving your case before an ALJ hearing judge.
Hire a Social Security Attorney
All the legal advice you read online is not a substitute for retaining a state licensed Social Security lawyer. An attorney who specializes in handling SSDI appeal cases can prepare you for the questions a judge asks during an ALJ hearing.
In addition, your lawyer should review your original SSDI application to discover any legal holes that require more evidence to support your claim. Working with a Social Security attorney also ensures your request for an ALJ hearing is reviewed in a timely manner.
Schedule a free case evaluation today with an experienced Social Security lawyer.