Arm on wheelchair

Over ten million Americans rely on Social Security Disability insurance (SSDi) for maintaining their daily lives and providing for their families. Most of them continue to work and depend on the supplemental income provided by SSDi, and those that don’t work depend on it to cover necessities such as food, rent, and medical costs. Unfortunately, many more people need the assistance but get denied. This is where the social security lawyers at Brumback Ottem can step in and help.


Steps to Take After a Denial in Yakima

A majority of SSDi applications are denied. However, Social Security rules are generous regarding reapplying and/or challenging your denial. Don’t give up after the first denial – it is still possible for your application to be reconsidered and eventually approved.

If you submitted your first application on your own, you know how complicated the applications can be. With such a high denial rate, it’s important to get everything right with every form you fill out. Whether it’s your first application or your fifth, it’s never too late or too early to get help. Our Yakima social security lawyers have years of experience getting SSDi applications approved, from original claim considerations to filing new claims.

When a claim is denied, there are four levels of reconsideration:


Initial Request for Reconsideration

The first step after a denial is to ask for your application to be reviewed again. This means that your case will go back before a reviewer. While not many applications succeed in this stage, it is possible and it’s another chance for you to get the benefits you deserve.


Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Hearing

If the second review is denied, it might be time to schedule a hearing before an ALJ.  That hearing can be scheduled within 60 days if you requested a reconsideration and were denied your request. Much of the job of ALJs is reviewing disability benefit decisions. Your chances of getting approved by an ALJ is higher than in any other step of the process, but still isn’t guaranteed, It’s important to be fully prepared for your ALJ hearing, even if you think you have a solid case.  While the hearing is fairly relaxed, it is an important factor to have an experienced lawyer help you produce the right factual information and pinpoint why you qualify for benefits.


Appeals Council

If you have been denied in either your reconsideration request or your ALJ hearing, you can request the Appeals Council review your case. Your case will only be heard if the council finds a procedural problem that led to your previous denials. The procedural errors could include your hearing being cut short, legal errors, or the ALJ failing to notify claimants of witnesses. The appeals council does not approve many claims.


Federal Court Review

Once you have gone through every previous step you can file a lawsuit and take your case to federal district court. There, you will likely make your case directly to a judge without a jury present. Even though you won’t be judged by a jury of your peers, having an attorney by your side doesn’t hurt. If you can get your case to go to federal court, your chances of getting approved increase dramatically. The challenge lies in getting your case to federal court.


Get the Benefits You Need With Help from Our Yakima Social Security Lawyers

The process of winning your SSDi case can be complicated, frustrating, and full of potential roadblocks. The lawyers at Brumback & Ottem have helped countless Americans clear the barriers put between them and the benefits they had earned. Contact us today to discuss your case and your claim, and see for yourself why we say our team is “bulldog tough.”


How do I apply for disability benefits?

Apply online or in person at your local Social Security office. You can get a starter kit to assist you with what to expect as well as how to organize your information.

Will I receive Medicare benefits if I am found eligible for Social Security disability benefits?

Social Security enrolls you in Medicare after 2 years from your date of entitlement.

How does Social Security decide if I am disabled?

You must be unable to work due to a medical condition. Your disability must last or be expected to last at least one year or result in death.

Can I work and receive disability benefits?

Work incentives are available with rules to carefully consider. For example, a short work trial period exists wherein your benefits should not be interrupted even though you have a disabling impairment. If your earnings are considered substantial and your work continues after your trial period, your disability benefits may be terminated. Termination may become permanent after a specific period of time.

Will my workers' compensation benefits reduce my Social Security disability payments?

Possibly. Generally speaking, you may not receive more than 80 percent of your highest year’s earnings from the combination of Social Security and worker’s compensation benefits. Brumback & Ottem has an experienced Workers’ Compensation team to help address this issue if applicable.

How long does it take for Social Security to make a decision on my application?

The time varies, but the process can seem to drag on. Often a representative can help expedite your claim.