Have you been denied disability benefits? If you live in Massachusetts, Social Security disability Attorney Nicholas Ellis can help.
Most denials of claims for disability benefits can be reversed if a knowledgeable Social Security lawyer is retained to handle the appeals. But patience and perseverance are required. As you will see from the award rates below, most disability claimants give up too soon.
1. Application level. Initial applicants for Social Security disability will wait on average 120 days to receive an answer, and for 35% it will be yes. Out of those rejected at this initial level, 52% will abandon their claims and 48% will appeal.
2. Reconsideration level. Claimants who timely filed their appeals within 60 days of receipt will wait 90 days for a decision. Only 12% will receive good news. Out of those who don’t, 30% will give up and 70% will appeal.
3. Hearing level. This is where patience and good representation pay off. National claimants will wait 15.5 months for a hearing and decision (Massachusetts claimants will wait 12 months), but 45% will be awarded benefits. Of the remainder, 55% will quit and 45% will appeal.
4. Appeals Council. Another 320 days are required. Only 2% of claimants will be rewarded with benefits; about 14% of claimants will have their claims sent back for another hearing. Most of the rest will give up. Only a few appeal to federal court.
5. Federal court. Claimants wait another 540 days for a federal court decision. About half of them will have their claims sent back for another hearing before an administrative law judge. Only a small percentage are awarded benefits by the federal court.
The lesson from these national averages is to pursue your Social Security disability claim through the first three levels — application, reconsideration, and hearing. Most of those who don’t give up before the Social Security disability hearing will be awarded benefits.