You, with the assistance of your lawyer, may have conducted your own calculations for how much financial support you require while living with your temporary or permanent, physical or mental, disability. So you may be disappointed, not to mention confused, if the Social Security Administration (SSA) orders you to monthly Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments that fall dramatically short of what you believe you are entitled to. This is when you may begin considering whether it is worth it to file an appeal. Continue reading to learn the potential risks of appealing the SSDI decision you receive and how an experienced New Jersey SSDI appeals lawyer at The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur can help you carefully consider your next move.

What are the potential risks of appealing the SSDI decision I receive?

You must understand that only a minority of applications for SSDI benefits are approved at the initial level. More specifically, as of 2022, the approval rate for initial applications was 32 percent nationally and 42 percent in the state of New Jersey. Further, this approval rate only lessens at subsequent appeals levels. The national and state approval rate for the reconsideration level is 15 percent and 14 percent, respectively; while the hearing level has an approval rate of 54 percent and 57 percent, respectively.

Therefore, if you are one of the lucky ones who gets approved at any of these levels, you may want to seriously contemplate the pros and cons of seeking higher monthly payments via the appeals process. One of the best-case scenarios with appealing your SSDI decision is that a judge may issue you a partially favorable decision. That is, they may acknowledge that you are or were disabled and thereby qualify for benefits, but they may still rule that you do not qualify for the full-back benefit award you initially claimed.

On the flip side, one of the worst-case scenarios is that an appeals council may rule contrary to a judge’s decision. With this, they may find you entirely ineligible for SSDI benefits and ultimately revoke any amount of payment you were initially granted.

What else should I consider before deciding to file an appeal?

Also worth considering is the time commitment and work commitment associated with the appeals process. At the hearing level, the national and state average wait time is 10 months and nine months, respectively. This timeline accounts for the time on which you initially request a hearing to the time your hearing is finally scheduled.¬†This is not to mention the additional medical and employment documents that you may have to dig up; the doctor’s appointments you may have to attend; the legal fees you may have to pay; and more.

All in all, there are many benefits to appealing an SSDI decision, so long as it is done correctly. So please do so with a skilled New Jersey SSDI appeals lawyer from The Law Office of Sheryl Gandel Mazur. We look forward to having a conversation with you.