Understanding The SSDI Process

If your application for Social Security Disability benefits has been denied, do not give up hope. Most initial applications are denied, but there is a reconsideration and appeals process in place to address denied claims.

The process of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits has many steps:

  • Initial application: Your initial application will be reviewed. You will not have a hearing at this phase of the application process. Please note that the majority of initial applications are denied. Do not give up hope if your initial application has been denied. We can request a reconsideration on your behalf.
  • Request for reconsideration: If your initial application is denied, you have 60 days from the date of denial to request a reconsideration. Reconsideration involves a review of the original claim along with any new information provided. Reconsideration does not involve a live hearing before a judge. You may be asked to provide additional forms and we can assist in helping you provide any necessary forms.
  • Administrative law judge (ALJ) hearing: If your request for reconsideration is denied, you have 60 days to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. This is often the most critical stage in the SSDI and SSI process because it is the first time that you are before a judge. The ALJ hearing is an administrative hearing. It is similar to a trial in certain ways, but less adversarial. The judge may ask you questions at the hearing. We will help you prepare for the questions you may be asked. The judge may hear testimony from a vocational expert who will express an opinion on your ability to work. In limited cases, the judge may hear testimony from a doctor. The judge will also review records that have been submitted to the court. We will gather medical records and other necessary documents to provide to the court and attend the hearing with you to advocate on your behalf.
  • Additional appeals: Many cases are resolved after the ALJ hearing. If necessary, however, we can pursue additional appeals on your behalf. We have experience handling appeals at all levels, including the Appeals Council, the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

To speak with an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer, contact Dale Buchanan & Associates. We are a premier Social Security Disability law firm with a proven record of results in SSDI/SSI claims and appeals. We offer a free consultation and charge no fees unless we obtain benefits for you. We have offices in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. Our attorneys represent clients throughout the country.

Put Our Experience To Work For You

Disability law is what we do. Our attorneys have more than 100 years of experience in Social Security Disability law. We have helped thousands of clients obtain Social Security Disability benefits. You can rely on us to fight for you.

Free Consultations For Clients Nationwide

We have offices in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville, Jackson and Manchester, Tennessee. We also maintain an office in Florence, Alabama, and a satellite office in Rome, Georgia. We serve clients throughout the United States.

We charge no fees in disability cases unless we recover benefits for you. To schedule your free consultation with a Social Security Disability lawyer at our firm, call 800-945-4950 or contact us by email.