1. Will you appeal my case?
It depends. Every claim is different and every decision is different. I will review any case for a possible administrative appeal. Send us a copy of your decision and Electronic Social Security File (if you have it). The more information the I have the better I can evaluate your claim.
2. How long does the Administrative Appeal take?
6-12 months. THIS IS ONLY AN AVERAGE: some appeals take less time, some appeals take more time. You shoulder never compare your appeal to other as every appeal is different. Once Social Security receives your appeal they will send you a letter. This letter will states they will make a decision on your case in "25" or "30" days. Unfortunately the vast majority of cases are not decided within 30 days.
3. Will Social Security ask me to do anything during the Administrative Appeal?
No. The Administrative Appeal will only consider files in your claim at the time of the hearing. There are very few exceptions to this rule. If your impairment worsens or you had a long awaited surgery/exam/test then you may qualify for an exception. Call Us, if you think you might have an exception.
4. Will I have to attend an administrative appeal hearing?
No. There is no hearing on your Administrative Appeal. Your appeal is sent to the Appeals Council in Virginia. The Appeals Council will review any legal arguments or evidence submitted to them. Once they have made decision they will mail you a copy of their decision.
If the Appeals Council REMANDS your claim to the Administrative Law Judge you will get another hearing.
5. What happens if they deny my Administrative Appeal?
If your Administrative Appeal is denied, I will review your claim for a Federal Court Appeal. Very few disability claims are appealed to the Federal Court. Generally 1 out 100 cases are appealed to the Federal Court.
If your claim does not warrant a Federal Court Appeal you can refile an Initial Application. This means starting the entire process all over again. While it may be undesirable sometimes restarting the process is the best way to improve your chance of getting approved.
6. Will Social Security Award my claim at the Appeal?
Probably Not. The Appeals Council vary rarely awards Social Security disability benefits at the Administrative Appeals level. If they find that the Administrative Law Judge's decisions is wrong your case will be REMANDED.
7. When should I call The Law Office of Jonathan A. Heeps while SSA is making an initial decision?
ALWAYS CALL US IF/WHEN:
A) You have a new address and/or telephone number.
B) You go to an emergency room, a hospital or see a NEW doctor (not listed on your forms).
C) You are scheduled for surgery or special procedure (like steroid injections).
D) You have a new diagnosis and/or new medication.
E) You receive a letter or telephone call from Social Security.
F) You stop getting medical treatment.
G) You start working (full or part-time).
** REMINDER – PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT SOCIAL SECURITY FOR ANY REASON **