If your Request for Reconsideration appeal is denied, your next step is to a file Form HA-501 Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge (get form here). Along with this form, you must also file:
- Form SSA-3441 – Disability Report-Appeal
- Form SSA-827 – Authorization to Disclose Information to SSA
There are three important points you need to keep in mind when you request your hearing:
(1) your hearing request form must be filed within 60 days from your receipt of the reconsideration denial. You should send your hearing request forms to the address shown on the reconsideration denial letter.
I advise my clients that a safer course of action is to make sure this form is filed within 60 days from the date on the reconsideration denial. If you miss the 60 day deadline, it is very difficult to get SSA to accept your hearing request and you may have to start over.
(2) from this point on, you and your attorney will be responsible for updating your medical record. When SSA receives your hearing request, your file will be transferred from State Agency adjudication office (the claims adjusters who denied your initial application and reconsideration) to the federal government’s Office of Disability and Review (ODAR). ODAR staff will not take any action to update your medical record. Currently ODAR office in the Atlanta and north Georgia region are backlogged between 15 to 20 months (!). If you do not update your records you risk showing up at a hearing with huge gaps in your medical record file.
(3) Social Security disability hearings are less formal than Georgia state courts but they are court proceedings nonetheless. Judges are overworked and busy and they typically schedule hearings to last 45 minutes to an hour. It is very difficult for a pro se (unrepresented) claimant to effectively represent himself or herself under these circumstances.
If your reconsideration appeal has been denied and you need to request a hearing, please call my office – we’d be happy to help you. There is no upfront cost to my representation and I am paid only if I can recover past due benefits for you. My office number is 770-393-4985.