David Throesch Law Firm
Social Security Disability Appeal Process
Initial Application: This can be taken care of by telephone or online. Be sure to return the application to this office after you receive it in the mail. This will speed up getting your case started. We will also help you fill out any necessary forms that Social Security might send you. Call us about a week after you send the papers back to make sure we have received them.
Request for Reconsideration: If you are in Missouri, skip this step and go to Request for Hearing. If you are in another state request for reconsideration is the next step and should be taken care of as soon as your initial application has been denied. If it is not appealed within sixty (60) days, you may have to start over, unless you prove a good reason why it was not appealed within the sixty (60) days. If you received a denial, contact this office to make sure a copy of the denial has been sent to us and that we have asked for reconsideration. Again, you should not be discouraged if you Request for Reconsideration also gets denied. It will usually take Social Security about four months to issue a decision in the Request for Reconsideration.
Request for Hearing: This is the next step after a denial has been issued on your Request for Reconsideration. You CANNOT request a hearing until your Request for Reconsideration has been denied. There is some movement in the Social Security Administration to eliminate the Request for Reconsideration, but at the present time it has not been eliminated. It will take an average of eighteen (18) months to have a hearing scheduled after you have filed a Request for Hearing. Here again, if you Request for Reconsideration is denied, you only have sixty (60) days to request for a hearing. If you receive such a denial contact this office to make sure that we have received it and that a Request for Hearing has been filed on your behalf.
Hearing: You generally will be notified, at least, seventy five (75) days before your scheduled hearing. I will also contact you and schedule a meeting with you and your witness to prepare for the hearing. The hearing is a good opportunity to win your case. After the hearing, it is generally between two (2) and five (5) months before you receive a written decision from the Judge. If you lose at this stage, it does not mean that your case is over with. It does probably meant that it will take quite a bit longer to win your case.
Appeals Council: If you lose your case at the hearing level your case will be appealed to the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council can remand your case for another hearing or agree with the judge’s denial.
Federal Court: If you are denied at the Appeal’s Council level you have sixty (60) days to file a lawsuit in Federal Court. You can also start your case over again at the initial application or you can do both. The pros and cons of what to do will be discussed with you at this point. As each case is different, it is impossible to state what needs to be done at this level without looking at each case separately. If you appeal to Federal Court it will be approximately one (1) year to eighteen (18) months before you will have a decision rendered. We don’t automatically appeal your case to Federal Court. The decision to appeal is made on a case by case basis. The David Throesch Law Firm retains the right to decline to appeal your case to federal court.
Eight Circuit Court of Appeals: If you lose in Federal Court your case may be started over at the initial application level, or appealed to the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals. Unless we feel that an error of law has been made in your case we probably will not appeal to Eight Circuit Court. This needs to be discussed on a case-by-case basis. The David Throesch Law Firm rarely appeals the case to the Eight Circuit Court.
Supreme Court of the United States: If you lose at the Eight Circuit of Appeals, you may be able to start over again at the initial application or appeal to the United States Supreme Court. An Appeal to the United States Supreme Court is very unlikely, due to the fact that United States Supreme Court chooses a very limited number of cases they will hear each year. So the mere fact that you appeal a case to them does not mean they will hear it. Social Security cases are very rarely appealed to the United States Supreme Court. We don’t appeal cases to the Supreme Court of the United States.
The purpose of this outline for you is two things. First, we want you to understand up-front the time and requirements of an appeal. Second, we want you to understand that the red tape of the Social Security Administration can be used against you. As long as your case is alive you have a chance of winning at one level or another. The Social Security Administration is also experiencing with eliminating or modifying some of the above steps so this should be used as an outline of the probable progress of Social Security case, but your case could differ. Do not become discouraged if you quit, they win.