Appeal Representation

We're On Your Side

Statistics show that most people who receive Social Security Disability benefits need to go through at least two appeal processes before they are approved. That means that most people get denied two or more times before they succeed in gaining the benefits they deserve.

When the Social Security Administration denies your application, that does not necessarily mean you are not qualified to receive benefits. It indicates that you have not yet done enough to prove your eligibility.

At Burgess & Christensen, our practice is devoted to helping people get the disability benefits for which they are eligible. If you have been denied after filing an initial application, a request for reconsideration, or even undergoing a hearing, we can review your case and determine whether you have the potential to succeed on appeal. We have a successful track record of helping applicants receive benefits in all types of situations, even when we need to take a case to the Social Security Appeals Council or Federal District Court.

Four Types of Appeals

Whether you are seeking Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) based on a disability, the process for appealing a denial is the same. Both programs are managed by the Social Security Administration. If the program evaluators deny your claim for benefits and you need to appeal, here are the potential levels of appeal:

  1. Request for Reconsideration. In this step, you ask the staff to review your case again and make a new decision. You have the opportunity to submit additional evidence regarding your disability and the effect it is having on your life, and it is a good idea to prepare and submit this evidence. If the denial was based on medical findings, the reconsideration will be conducted by an examiner from Disability Adjudication Services, but it will not be the same staff member who reviewed your original application. If the denial was based on other issues such as your employment record or income, a staff member from the Social Security Administration will review your file to see if there has been any change in those issues.
  2. Administrative Hearing. If you do not agree with the findings on reconsideration and want to appeal, you submit a request for a hearing before an administrative law judge. You have another opportunity to submit evidence to support your claim, and this is your last opportunity to bring in evidence, so we can help you make the most of it. The hearing will not be quite as formal as you see on tv, but it is legal proceeding and you need to follow proper procedures. The judge will ask a variety of questions about your disability and how it impacts your ability to perform daily tasks. Burgess & Christensen will work with you to ensure that your case file is complete and that you are prepared to answer questions appropriately. We will also advocate on your behalf to demonstrate that you satisfy the requirements for disability. Most people who succeed in obtaining benefits get approved after the hearing.
  3. Review of Hearing Decision. If you are denied at a hearing, you can ask the Social Security Appeals Council to review the judge’s decision. The Appeals Council will review your file and consider the evidence to determine whether they believe the judge followed Social Security’s rules and regulations in issuing the decision.. Burgess & Christensen will work with you to review your file and prepare arguments on your behalf for the Appeals Council to review.
  4. File a Lawsuit in Federal Court. If the Appeals Council finds that the judge’s decision was supported by the evidence, and you disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision, you can file a civil action in the U.S. District Court closest to your home. Burgess & Christensen will review your file to determine whether a lawsuit is the best course of action to take after an Appeals Council denial. 

While many Social Security Disability attorneys assist clients preparing for an administrative hearing, many opt not to assist clients with appeals before the Social Security Appeals Council or in federal court. Many attorneys do not accept cases that require assistance with filing at the initial application stage.

Burgess & Christensen takes a different approach. We want to work with you at each step in the process, from preparation through appeal, to build the strongest case for benefits. You can start working with our team at any point in the application or appeals process.  

We Know How to Help You Succeed on Appeal

When you’ve been denied benefits that you need to support yourself and your family, it can be extremely discouraging. But Burgess & Christensen is ready to help you appeal the ruling and fight to get the full benefits that you should receive.

We work on a contingency fee, so you do not need to pay us anything until you are approved for benefits. For a free case evaluation to find out what your next steps should be, contact our team today. 

    Get In Touch

    Free evaluation of your case

    When you are unable to work, you still need to support yourself and your family. Call us at 770-422-8111 or contact us online. We do not charge any fees until the disability claim is approved and our fees are authorized.