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Monday, January 25, 2021

How Long Does the Disability Appeals Process Take?

Would it surprise you to learn that many Texas SS disability claims are initially rejected? Even valid claims? This happens for a variety of reasons, though most often for missing information and insufficient evidence.

If your disability claim is rejected, all is not lost. You can appeal your claim, but the process is complicated and exhausting, leaving many to question, “Just how long does the disability appeals process take, and exactly when can I get my Social Security Disability money?”

Hiring an experienced Texas disability attorney to navigate the appeals process offers peace of mind and a best-case scenario for winning your SS disability benefits case.

Help, My SSD Claim was Denied!

When you receive a notice of denied SSD benefits, it’s not the time to give up, but you don’t have time to waste. You have the right to file an appeal of a denied claim; however, your request must be made in writing and received within 60 days of the date of your denial letter.

Disability benefits attorneys understand the time constraints associated with the appeals process and are invaluable when assessing your claim and the viability of an appeal.

If your denied claim merits an appeal, your Texas disability lawyer will gather essential information, relevant documents, and updated evidence to support your claim for disability benefits.

The 4 Levels of SS Disability Appeals in Texas

The decision letter you receive will state the reason your claim was denied and how to appeal the decision. There are 4 levels to appealing a denied disability claim:

  • Request for Reconsideration
  • Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge
  • Review by the Appeals Council
  • Federal Court Review
  • Each of these four steps involves a thorough review of your claim. An examiner or judge new to your case will consider your application, pre-existing and updated evidence, and prior rulings before making their own determination.

    Every stage of appeal, ending with the Federal Court review, provides an opportunity to overturn a prior, negative outcome. If your claim is still denied after a Federal Court review, you retain the option to submit an entirely new application for benefits.

    Why Does the Texas Disability Appeals Process Take So Long?

    There are a significant number of denied disability claims flooding the Texas appeals courts. This volume, coupled with few Administrative Law Judges and limited resources, means that your appeal will likely fall into a backlog of appeals claims waiting for review.

    • High volume of appeals
    • Insufficient resources
    • Limited Administrative Law Judges
    • Hearing Backlogs

    Reconsideration is the first and generally fastest stage of the appeals process, averaging three months for your case review and decision. However, evidence suggests that only about one of every six appeals are won at this level, leaving your claim subject to future hearings and full dockets.

    Depending on where you live in Texas, you may be waiting 10-18 months to get a hearing date for your appeal. Once your case is heard, it can take several additional months for a judge to issue their decision.

    Given that scheduling backlogs and heavy caseloads affect all appeals levels, a claim moving through the highest level of Federal Court review could take years to resolve.

    Can a Texas Disability Attorney Help with My Disability Claim?

    Many disability claims are initially rejected, only to become stuck in an overburdened Texas appeals process that can take years to complete.

    Calendar deadlines, regulatory compliance, and case evidence must be well managed to avoid any unnecessary delays on your part. This can be difficult to do on your own while balancing the struggles of a limiting disability.

    If you are appealing a denied Social Security disability claim, it's a good idea to consult a Texas disability attorney for help. A knowledgeable SSD attorney will properly prepare your case and defend your right to social security disability benefits.

    For help with your SSD application or disability benefits appeal in Texas, contact our office today.


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