Cleveland Social Security Disability Attorneys
Serving Social Security Disability Applicants in Cleveland and Throughout Northeast Ohio
Throughout your working life, you make contributions to Social Security from your paycheck. While most people don't draw benefits from Social Security until they retire, the Social Security fund serves another important purpose as well--providing income for workers who become disabled and can no longer earn a living. This is known as Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI.
Unfortunately, since disability isn't quite as clear and easy to demonstrate as turning 67, securing Social Security disability benefits is typically more difficult. In fact, most Social Security disability applications are denied at the initial application stage. An analysis by the Urban Institute showed that in one recent year, just 37.5% of applications were approved at the initial stage.
When that happens, too many people assume that they are not eligible for benefits and give up. But, perseverance pays--especially when you have the right help.
The SSDI Appeals Process
When an application for Social Security Disability benefits is denied, the applicant has the option of entering into a tiered system of reconsideration and appeals.
The process works like this:
- The applicant has the opportunity to request reconsideration. The reconsideration process is the same as the initial consideration, except with a new decision-maker. The approval rate is low at this stage since it’s typically the exact same materials being considered. Still, some applicants who are denied initially are approved on reconsideration.
- If the applicant is denied reconsideration, they can request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Unlike the prior steps, the ALJ hearing allows an opportunity to interact with the decision-maker, present evidence, and even call witnesses. The success rate is considerably higher at this stage but, unfortunately, many applicants drop out before this point.
- If the applicant is denied at the ALJ stage, there’s yet another option: contesting the decision in federal court.
At the ALJ stage and beyond, having the right attorney can make a significant difference.
An experienced Social Security disability attorney like Robert J. Vecchio knows exactly what SSDI ALJs are looking for and how to assemble the strongest possible case on your behalf. A seasoned disability lawyer can also take charge of moving the case forward, avoiding technical errors and missed deadlines that can prematurely cut off a claim.
Vecchio & Vegh Is Here to Help
Pursuing SSDI benefits can be frustrating and confusing. If you’ve been denied, your first step should be to seek out reliable information.
Attorney Robert J. Vecchio knows the Social Security disability appeals process well. He understands the obstacles Ohio residents face when pursuing benefits, and what ALJs and judges are looking for in the evidence presented.
We offer free consultations to help ensure that people entitled to and in need of disability benefits have access to the information they need.
Attorney fees are set by statute, and there’s no payment unless and until your case is resolved federally. So, you have nothing to lose by taking the next step.