F.A.Q.s: Social Security Disability Benefits & Appeals

Ms. Herilhy discusses Social Security Disability Appeals: 

If you are denied Social Security Disability Benefits, do you have a right to appeal?

"Yes.​  If you have been denied benefits, you want to be sure that the decision made by the Social Security Administration was correct; often times it is not.  A person who is denied benefits has a right to appeal, but there are strict and specific time limits for an appeal.  If denied, that person should seek the advice an experienced Social Security Disability Attorney immediately."

Are there different levels of the Appeals process?

"Yes.  There are generally four levels of the appeals process and just because a person is denied at the first level, it does not mean that they won't be successful at the next level of appeal.   Again they should seek the advice of an experienced Social Security Disability Attorney immediately after receiving the negative decision from Social Security as in most cases an appeal must be filed within 60 days of the rejection."

Can someone help me with my Social Security Disability Appeal and how much does it cost?

"Yes.  You can have a representative help with your appeal and represent you at a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Most attorneys work on a contingency basis and their fee is paid from any retroactive benefits received from Social Security, with the exception of any out of pocket costs such as medical records."

Is this type of fee arrangement what Herlihy, Young and Niemiec uses with Social Security Clients?

"Yes. Our fee is based upon a percentage of the past due retroactive benefits the client receives, and we do not charge for the initial consultation with the client even if we choose not to take the case." 

What steps can I take to obtain a representative?

"Seek out the assistance of an attorney experienced in handling Social Security Disability Claims.  Bring all the information about your work history and medical condition to your consultation with the attorney.  The attorney client relationship is very personal, and you should feel comfortable with any person who is acting as your representative."