After receiving your application, your claim is sent to a disability examiner at the Disability Determination agency in your state. Social Security will write to your medical providers and obtain copies of your medical records. They may have these records reviewed by a doctor or they may schedule you to be seen by a physician they have hired to examine Social Security applicants. This physician may be asked to render a medical opinion as to what your physical or mental limitations are. The disability examiner, after consulting with a medical professional and reviewing your records, will make the initial determination in your case. You will receive a Determination in the mail notifying you whether you have been awarded or denied benefits, and the Determination will outline the basis for their decision. In some states, if your claim is denied, you may ask for a reconsideration and another disability examiner will review your case. If the second examiner denies the claim as well, you may then file an appeal by requesting a hearing before a Social Security Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The Judge will conduct a hearing and you will have an opportunity to present evidence and testify.
If the Judge denies your claim, you may appeal the decision to the Social Security Appeals Council. You will not appear before this Council. You will not have a hearing before the Council. Their decision is rendered after a review of the records. If your claim is again denied, it is possible to file an appeal to the United States Federal District Court.
If you have applied for Social Security and have been denied, have questions, or need help with an Appeal, contact the Pennsylvania social security attorneys at Calhoon & Kaminsky at 877-291-9675 for a free consultation.