Social Security Disability Denied? Don't Give Up Hope. (Part 2)

Today’s post comes from guest author Barbara Tilker from Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano.

Last week we told you about the denial of John’s claim for Social Security Disability. This week we present the results of John’s appeal. 

Unfortunately, John’s run of bad luck with the Social Security Administration continued, and the Appeals Council affirmed the judge’s decision. The only good thing about this decision was that it came relatively quickly, allowing us to move on to the next step in the process. With the Appeals Council denial, there were two options.  John could file a new application and begin the process again, which would mean forfeiting all the retroactive benefits that he would otherwise have been entitled to, or we could file a lawsuit in Federal court. 

The only good thing about this decision was that it came relatively quickly, allowing us to move on to the next step in the process.

I selectively file these lawsuits because of the lengthy process and the standard of proof required. After discussing his options, John and I decided to move forward with the lawsuit. After a lawsuit is filed, the Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) assigned to the case contacts me to work out a schedule for filing our briefs and for oral arguments in front of the judge.

When I heard from the AUSA this time, it wasn’t to set up a briefing schedule. She had reviewed the case file and realized that the judge’s decision was wrong and couldn’t be defended. She was the first person who I felt had really taken the time to review the case and realize that John was truly disabled. She prepared an order for the judge to sign sending the case back to Social Security for a new hearing and a new decision.

 The same judge who had issued John’s original unfavorable decision was again assigned to the case. I was concerned that John would be in for another denial, but the judge had clearly changed his mind about John. After a brief hearing, the judge stated on the record that he would be issuing a fully favorable decision. John received the decision granting him benefits two weeks later. John and his family were awarded all of the benefits that they were entitled to, because I believed in his case and didn’t give up.

Even if you get turned down the first time, or you get an unfavorable decision from a judge, don’t give up.

Even if you get turned down the first time, or you get an unfavorable decision from a judge, don’t give up. If John had decided to file a new application, he may have eventually been awarded some benefits, but he wouldn’t have received all the retroactive benefits to which he was entitled. Having an attorney who believes in you and will work hard to get you the benefits you deserve is very important to the success of your case.  If you would like our assistance with your claim, please contact us today.