What to expect during the appeal process

Whether a disability application appeal will be successful depends largely on the merits of the applicant's case. However, an Indiana resident who is appealing a denial of their initial application will likely have more success on their second try. The second appeal is a hearing in front of a judge. To get to that step, an individual must first complete the reconsideration appeal process.

During the reconsideration appeal level, an individual has about a 10%-15% chance of having their application for benefits approved. This is because the same method used to deny an original application will be applied to the reconsideration appeal. Unless there is significant new evidence for a second examiner to review, there is little reason to believe that they would reverse the first examiner's decision. There are several reasons why an individual has more success at the disability hearing appeal stage.

First, a judge's decision is not subject to the same scrutiny that a disability examiner's decision is. Next, a judge will rely on the information provided by a claimant's doctor as well as a vocational witness when making a ruling. Finally, an attorney is allowed to argue for an applicant, which may in itself improve the chances of creating a compelling argument. On average, applicants have a 65 percent chance of having their cases approved at this level.

Applicants in Indiana who are hoping to get their disability applications approved may increase their chances by hiring legal representation. An attorney may be able to file paperwork, collect evidence or argue on a person's behalf before a judge. Taking timely action to appeal a denied application may help move the process along faster and result in a favorable outcome in less time.

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