Just repositioning in an office chair sends sharp pain through the face, feet, and hands.
Burning sensations at night disrupt sleep patterns to make you feel fatigued throughout every workday.
Such is the professional life of someone who has neuropathy symptoms. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) runs a program that provides financial assistance for Americans that live with a disability.
However, a majority of the disability claims filed with the SSA come back denied.
If you suffer from neuropathy symptoms and you submit a disability application, you should prepare for the appeals process.
The four steps of the disability appeals process include reconsideration, a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), an Appeals Council review, and a Federal District Court hearing.
Getting Your Disability Claim Reconsidered by the SSA
The first step of the appeals process involves re-filing your original application for the SSA to review once again.
You should submit more medical evidence concerning your neuropathy symptoms, as well as get your employer more involved in the process by submitting a sworn deposition that describes how the disease has limited your time on the job.
To ensure an impartial ruling by the SSA, a different team of healthcare experts reviews your appeal for reconsideration.
Argue Your Case in Front of an ALJ
Of the four steps of the appeals process, the second step of arguing your case in front of an ALJ requires the services of an experienced Social Security attorney.
This is because step two gives you the chance to present oral arguments concerning how neuropathy has created a disability that forced you off the job.
You have the right to testify in front of the ALJ, who ask questions to clarify any issues that accompanied your initial disability application.
The second step of the appeals process also allows you to call witnesses to the stand to testify on your behalf.
An Appeals Council Review
The Appeals Council examines the ruling by the SSA concerning your initial application, as well as your appeal for reconsideration.
You initiate the third step of the appeals process by submitting the Request for Review of Hearing Decision/Order form.
As opposed to the ALJ hearing, all forms of communication with the Appeals Council are done through digitally written correspondence. You do not have the chance to argue your case in front of the council.
Appeal Your Denied Claim to a Federal District Court Judge
As the last step in the appeals process, a Federal District Court judge focuses on the decision issued by the ALJ that upheld the original denial decision made by the SSA.
What the Federal District Court judge want to confirm is that the ALJ conducted the hearing fairly.
If the Federal District Court judge finds the ALJ made one or more legal errors when handling your appeal, the judge will send your claim back to the ALJ for a second hearing.
Because you have to submit an opening brief, it is a good idea to work with a Social Security lawyer to ensure the brief follows every legal guideline.
Consult with a Social Security Attorney
The financial stakes are too high for you to go through the appeals process on your own.
A Social Security lawyer will help you present the most persuasive case possible by submitting compelling medical evidence.
Working with a Social Security attorney does not cost you any upfront money, as Most Social Security lawyers charge clients on a contingency fee basis.