SSDI Appeals

Social Security Disability Attorneys Assisting Claimants in Chicago

At Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck, we help individuals seek Social Security Disability benefits through legal representation before the Social Security Administration and in court if needed. Our Chicago Social Security Disability lawyers are skilled at proving a client’s entitlement to benefits by gathering medical records and illustrating their inability to work. We are prepared to advocate on your behalf throughout all of the phases of the process of pursuing benefits, from your initial application with the Social Security Administration to appeals before an Administrative Law Judge.

Bringing an SSDI Appeal After a Denial of Benefits

The Social Security Administration initially turns down many claims. It is important to prove that you are suffering from a “disability” as it is defined by the Administration and show evidence of your inability to work. If a mental or physical impairment prevents you from working for at least 12 months or is likely to result in your death, you have met the initial criteria for receiving benefits.

If you have been denied Social Security benefits for a medical or a non-medical reason, you may request an appeal. You will receive an explanation of the Social Security Administration's decision to deny your claim. This explanation may help strengthen your appeal, since you may include documents to address any deficiencies noted by the Administration. Additionally, the Social Security Administration will make clear that you may want to seek legal representation for your appeal. There is a timeline for appealing, which is 60 days after receiving notice of the Social Security Administration’s decision.

There are different levels of appeals, including reconsideration, a hearing before an administrative law judge, and a review by the Appeals Council. The reconsideration involves a review of your files by an individual who did not conduct the initial decision. Additional evidence may be submitted at this reconsideration phase.

If you disagree with the result of the reconsideration, you may request a hearing by an administrative law judge who was not involved in the original decision (or the reconsideration). Before a hearing, additional information about your claim and more evidence may be submitted. Witnesses may attend a hearing, and these witnesses may be questioned about their opinions. While formal evidentiary rules do not apply in the same way that they would in court, the procedures and the presentation of evidence at a hearing may have a significant impact on the success of a claim. For example, the Administration may request that you be evaluated by a doctor of its choosing. This medical physician or professional may serve as a witness at the hearing. You are also entitled to bring your own witnesses to the hearing.

After the hearing, the judge makes a decision based on the information formerly in your case, as well as any new information. If you disagree with this hearing decision, you may ask for review by the Social Security Appeals Council. The Appeals Council does not grant all requests for review, especially if they believe that the hearing decision was not made in error. If the Appeals Council decides to review your case, it will make a decision itself or return it to an administrative law judge.

Retain a Dedicated Chicago Lawyer for Your Social Security Disability Appeal

While individuals may handle their own Social Security appeals, a skilled lawyer may help ensure that all of the relevant evidence has been submitted and that regulations determining eligibility have been met. At Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson & Bareck, our Chicago Social Security Disability attorneys help people throughout Illinois in their claims for benefits. We understand the medical documentation that is required in disability hearings, and we are capable of delivering results for our clients. We also have helped injured people in Springfield, Champaign, Aurora, Rockford, and Quincy, as well as other communities in Cook, Kane, Winnebago, Sangamon, Champaign, and Adams Counties. We also can assist people who need a workers’ compensation attorney to help them seek benefits. Our firm can be reached by calling (800) 444-1525 or using our online form to set up a free appointment.