Denied Benefits

Do not be alarmed – or surprised –  if you receive a letter from Social Security informing you that have been found “not disabled” under the program rules and not eligible for benefits. Nationally over 60% of people who file Social Security disability applications are denied upon their initial application. However, if you are unable to work because of your disability, it is important not to give up – you have the right to appeal and you should.

The Appeal Process

An appeal may be filed within 60 days of the date you receive the denial letter. Representation on this appeal, though not required, may improve your chances. If a second appeal is necessary, as it is for most people, you will appear at a hearing before a Social Security Administrative Law Judge and for the first time the person making the decision will see and hear directly from you. It is highly recommended that you be represented by an experienced attorney at this Hearing stage of the process, even if you have not been represented at the earlier steps.

Do You Need Representation?

Representation at all levels of the disability application process may improve your chances of success. However, representation by an experienced attorney who regularly handles Social Security disability cases in your area can be critical at the hearing. Understanding Social Security’s complex rules, knowing which evidence is most important to the Judge deciding your case, and being thoroughly prepared for the questions you will be asked at the hearing are all essential to making sure you have a fair hearing and present the strongest case possible in support of your claim.

"I called and talked to someone that scheduled an appointment with an attorney almost immediately. When I met with my attorney, she helped me sort through my case, she listened to me. She helped me obtain the documents I needed for my case and even when I waited to hear about my appeal, she kept in contact with me."

How Can The Hawkins Center Help?

The Hawkins Center has many years of experience handling Social Security cases and have successfully represented hundreds of clients in disability hearings throughout the Bay Area. We have operated our office in Richmond for almost 30 years. Unlike many of the national law firms and lawyers you may have seen advertising on TV or on the internet, we practice day in, day out at the local Social Security hearing offices in Oakland and San Rafael.

Your attorney at The Hawkins Center will meet with you personally when we take your case, thoroughly prepare you for your hearing before the day of the hearing, gather the medical evidence and other documentation Social Security needs to fairly decide your claim, and may submit a written argument to the Judge advocating why the law and facts of your case show you qualify for disability benefits.

Contact Us

Whether you have just received a denial letter and want assistance filing an appeal, have already been notified of a hearing date, or if you are just beginning your application and want representation, contact us to discuss your case and arrange a free consultation.