Differences between State and Appellate Decisions
If your application for Social Security benefits has been denied by the state, you may wonder whether an Indianapolis Social Security attorney can improve your chances of success at your appellate hearing. Due to significant differences between the State’s initial evaluation of your application and the evaluation process at the appellate level, your Indianapolis Social Security attorney can play a far more significant role in obtaining benefits for you at an appellate hearing than through your initial application.
State Agencies Focus on Medical Findings
The state-agency decision maker who reviewed your initial application for disability benefits probably based his or her decision wholly on a cold review of the medical findings related to your claim and not on your specific inability to work. At your appellate hearing, the administrative law judge will consider the entirety of the evidence surrounding your case, including your testimony and the testimony of people who know you. Your Indianapolis Social Security attorney can play a major role in preparing you to testify at your hearing and guiding you through your testimony by asking the right questions.
State Agencies Rely Heavily on the Listing of Impairments
To decide if you qualify for disability benefits, a State agency compares the medical findings related to your claim with the Listing of Impairments to see if your condition qualifies you for benefits. The comparison is relatively rote, and it does not allow for consideration of relevant information outside of the medical findings. At the appellate level, ALJs tend to view your medical findings as setting parameters for the possible RFCs that may apply to you, but they do not allow the findings to limit their discretion to consider your credibility and other important evidence.
Therefore, if you have been denied benefits because your condition does not appear on the Listing of Impairments, your Indianapolis Social Security attorney may be able to obtain a reversal of the decision on appeal by highlighting evidence outside of your medical records that tends to show you are disabled.
Studies have shown that a claimant who is denied disability benefits at the state level stands a significant chance of obtaining benefits on appeal. Through knowledge of the law and of the disability benefits appellate process, the right attorney can position you to obtain a reversal of the state’s decision. To arrange a free consultation, please contact Indianapolis Social Security attorney Martin Barnes at (317) 804-5058.