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You Still Have Options If You Were Denied Social Security Disability Income Benefits

April 10, 2017

Many applicants for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) are denied, even though they seem to meet all of the criteria to qualify for benefits. It is a widely held belief that your SSDI application must be denied at least once before the Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider approving your application. That is not the case. The SSA rejects many qualified applicants for SSDI benefits. A person who was denied benefits has recourse through an appeals process. The SSA appeals system is cumbersome. It may be in your best interest, or in the best interest of a family member who received a denial letter from SSA in the Atlanta area to speak with a competent and knowledgeable SSDI appeals attorney.

The SSA receives thousand of applications every year for SSDI benefits. They cannot possibly allow them all. The system would go broke and grind to a screeching halt if they did.  As with every large bureaucratic agency like the SSA, many people who genuinely qualify for benefits and truly need the benefits because they are actually disabled do not get them.  However, those rejected applicants have the opportunity to appeal the decision made by the agency denying their claim.

The appellate process begins with receiving the letter denying benefits. The letter may state the agency's rationale for denying benefits. It will also inform you what your rights are and how to exercise them. Each applicant must follow the same process. The applicant must exhaust their administrative rights before seeking relief through in the courts. Courts will not permit applicants to skip the necessary steps before hearing your case. In fact, if you do, the court must dismiss the appeal for failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

This process can take a very long time and be very frustrating. The SSA encourages applicants to engage counsel of their choosing to assist with the appeal. After receiving the letter, you can initiate the appeals procedure by filing an appeal online. The appellate application is reviewed and sent to the decision-maker for reconsideration. At the review stage, you might have the opportunity to state your case and convince the agent reviewing your petition to change the initial ruling. The agent may even allow you to supplement your application with additional proof to substantiate your claim.

The next step in the appellate procedure is to submit your application for review by an administrative law judge ("ALJ"). The ALJ is a judicial officer specially trained in the laws and regulations interpreting the Social Security Act. The administrative law judge commonly referred to as the "ALJ" will take testimony from you and your witnesses. He/she is an impartial judicial officer and played no role in deciding to deny your application.  The judge will hear the facts of the case with an attorney present. If you are appealing your application, you and your attorney can present witnesses that can explain why the decision was wrong and exhibits to supplement the live testimony. Exhibits can be anything that is relevant to proving why you qualify for SSDI benefits.

If the ALJ denies your claim, then you can seek leave to appeal to the U.S. District Court for your jurisdiction. This process involves your SSDI attorney filing a complaint in court and asking a federal judge to overrule the ALJ and award you benefits.

The appeal proceedings are a long and hard road. Having a tireless and zealous representative by your side can ease the burden. Appeals are time sensitive and should be handled immediately.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 39 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!

If you have been denied social security benefits, call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 39 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour live chat.


Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law

17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333
Toll Free: 1 (800) LAW-NEED 

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.