Step 1- Appealing an Initial Determination
Congress created the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program in 1972, as a program of last resort for low income people who were elderly or disabled. The federal SSI program provides monthly payments to individuals who are elderly, disabled, or blind. These cash payments are for individuals who have few resources and low income.
SSI is a federal program that provides monthly income to adults and children with disabilities or blindness and people 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial and asset qualifications. Under Department of Labor regulations, “disability” is defined as the “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death, or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” Eligibility requirements for SSI are strict and most applicants are rejected.
This is why an experienced SSI lawyer can be vital to your case. Our experienced and knowledgeable Social Security attorneys will listen to your story and help you through the appeal process. We are familiar with ways to win these cases.
An individual in Pennsylvania may apply for SSI either online, in person, by telephone, or by mailing an application to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA relies on various factors to determine whether an applicant is eligible for SSI. In particular, it will closely examine an individual’s income and other resources.
A team of medical professionals and disability examiners will carry out an investigation into the claimant’s case. If they find that more evidence is needed, they will seek further information.
The SSA eventually makes a disability determination on the case. A claimant whose claim was denied has the option of appealing the initial determination through a process called a Reconsideration. A Reconsideration may be requested online, by fax, or by surface mail. The SSI appeal Reconsideration process is similar to that of the original case. The primary difference is that a different team handles the reconsiderations instead of the team originally reviewing claim’s initial processing.
Step 2- Appealing a Reconsideration Determination
A claimant who is dissatisfied with the Reconsideration Determination decision may request an appeals process Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). The claimant submits additional information and evidence for consideration by the ALJ who will issue a decision based on all the available evidence, including anything obtained during the proceedings at hand, as well any relevant documentation submitted along with it. If the ALJ needs more details about certain medical matters, a Disability Departments SSI appeals lawyer may, upon issuing subpoenas, require appearances in court and contact other sources such as nurses who work in clinics and also physicians if need be.
Administrative law judges (“ALJ”) oversee the complex medical issues at hearings. If a hearing office needs expert medical testimony on complex issues, they will call upon an individual from a list of expert witnesses. Expert witnesses are paid for their services and can be requested at any time by either party in administrative law proceedings with prior approval through local counsel (hearing offices).
The Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy act requirements for lawyers of SSI appeals. These are two laws with special significance for federal agencies, which typically need review by an SSI appeal lawyer. The first, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires government-wide transparency and relatively wide access to documents in the government’s possess, while also protecting personal privacy. FOIA has been successfully used to spark reform in governments worldwide by making officials accountable when their actions affect public opinion.
The second law, the Privacy Act, protects citizens’ right to know what is being done behind closed doors as well as how much information should be released. The Privacy Act permits an individual or his/her authorized representative to examine records pertaining to that individual in a federal agency. For disability applicants, this means that they may request the medical evidence used by the SSA as part of its evaluation process under either their own program – SSI for those applying on their own behalf or the Substantial Gainful Activity program, which offers protection benefits through Titles II & XVI of the Social Security Act.
If you have been denied disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, the first thing that you should do is call our SSI lawyers. Our experienced Social Security attorneys will listen to your story and help you through the appeal process. We area experienced in ways to win these cases.
Call an SSI Appeal attorney from PA for a free consultation with one of our qualified SSI appeals lawyers. We are here to help disabled individuals like yourself appeal their case if they were denied benefits by the SSA. We want to help you obtain what’s best for you because we believe everyone deserves a chance at living a comfortable life without financial worry or stress – especially when it comes from trying to keep up with medical bills while on long-term disability due to an illness or injury. Don’t wait any longer.