When someone applies for Social Security disability and is denied, they have the right to appeal and have their case heard before a Social Security administrative law judge (ALJ). Similar to other U.S. states, the process of starting a New Mexico SSDI appeal before an ALJ should be initiated as soon as a denial is received by the SSA. If the ALJ ultimately delivers a second denial on an SSDI claim, then the claimant should hire a disability attorney who will begin the federal district court process of appealing the denial.
If an Administration Law Judge denies your claim, you have 60 days from the date of the denial to send your claim to the Appeals Council. Responsible for re-evaluating claim denials made by ALJs, the Appeals Council determines whether a judge made evidential, procedural or other errors in denying a disability claim. The Appeals Council can remand the claim back to the ALJ for a new review, deny the claim, or approve the claim.
If an Appeals Council denies your disability claim, you can either take your claim to Federal District Court or file a new disability claim that contains additional documentation showing your condition has gotten worse and is not responding to treatment.
When you take a twice-denied SSDI application to be heard in a federal district court, it becomes a lawsuit meant to determine if the ALJ made errors when deciding whether to approve or deny your application. The job of the judge overseeing a federal district court process involving an SSDI appeal is to state whether a new hearing is warranted or if the ALJ’s decision should stand.
People planning to take their denied SSDI claim to a federal district court should know that the Social Security Administration will not help them file their appeal. Once the SSA and the ALJ deny a claim, the SSA asserts the claims process (on their end) is finished. This is the primary reason why federal district court appeals claims should always be handled by an experienced disability attorney. In addition, SSDI applicants have only 60 days to file an appeal with a federal district court in their area. What Happens During the Federal District Court Process?
A New Mexico SSDI appeal attorney will present arguments to the federal district judge in writing. The Social Security Administration’s attorney will also give the judge written arguments defending the decision of the administrative law judge. Finally, the SSDI attorney will read the arguments and file written responses to the arguments.
In most cases, the federal district court process for deciding on an appeal takes between 15 and 18 months. If the federal court judge grants a new hearing for the plaintiff (the person appealing their Social Security disability denials), then another hearing with an ALJ will be scheduled.
If your SSDI claim has been denied by the SSA and an ALJ, please call Decker Law Office today to schedule an appointment with an attorney experienced in handling federal district court appeals for disability claims.