Monday, April 13, 2015

The Disability Benefits Appeals Process

12:21 PM

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In a Social Security disability benefits case, a veteran claimant requests for benefits based on the fact that an injury prevents him or her from working. The claimant attends a hearing before an administrative law judge, who may contend that the injury is not serious and that he or she can still work. The claimant would then appeal the decision, after which the appellate court schedules the case for a new hearing to be presided by a different judge.

At the next hearing, the new judge may still find the claimant not disabled, and again denies the benefits claim. The claimant again appeals the denial, only this time the district court might uphold the second judge’s decision. Sounds familiar?

If this is your current situation, then you probably know that your next step is to appeal the decision to the US Court of Appeals in the Fourth Circuit, wherein cases are generally reviewed under a de novo standard. This means that the appeals court will review the facts and circumstance of the case all over again, instead of just looking to see if any errors were committed by the previous judges. Nevertheless, those presiding over the review will still give the previous judges the benefit of the doubt.

To increase your chances of a positive result, it would help to consult an experienced disability lawyer and have him represent you in every court dealing.


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