Social Security disability benefits are designed to help you pay for your costs of living when you are unable to work because of a disability. While many people who file a claim for benefits assume that they will be approved, the truth is that every year, hundreds of disability claims are denied.
For those whose claims are denied, the future can feel uncertain, and knowing what to do next may be confusing.
The experienced Chicago Social Security disability attorneys at The Comerford Law Office, LLC have experience in fighting back against the Social Security Administration’s denial of claims for benefits and are ready to assist you during the appeals process.
If you receive notice that your claim for Social Security disability benefits is denied, you have the right to appeal that decision. It is important that you take action immediately; federal time limits prevent you from pursuing an appeal if you do not file your first appeal within 60 days of receiving notice that your request for benefits has been denied.
There are four levels of the appeals process. Ideally, you will only need to enter the first in order to have your claim approved. These four levels are:
The first level is a request for reconsideration. During this type of appeal, you request a review of your case by someone other than a person who was involved in the initial decision regarding your claim. During this stage, you have the right to present any new medical evidence that supports your case.
If you disagree with the decision that is issued at the conclusion of the reconsideration, you may request a hearing before an ALJ. This is a more formal process in which you will appear before a judge, and answer any questions that the judge asks about your disability and inability to work. You may present any evidence to support your case during a hearing.
If an ALJ again denies your request for benefits, you may request a review from the Appeals Council. However, while the Appeals Council will consider your request, it does not have to approve it. The Appeals Council will only accept your request and review your case if it believes that the ALJ made an incorrect decision during the hearing.
Finally, if all other stages of the appeals process fail, your final hope is a review by a federal court. This process is initiated by filing a lawsuit in federal district court and is a step that should not be pursued without the representation of an experienced lawyer.
The appeals process can be confusing, and even the smallest of errors during the process can result in a denial of benefits. At The Comerford Law Office, LLC, our talented Chicago Social Security disability appeals attorneys know how to help you, and will do everything we can to improve your chances of receiving benefits. For a free consultation, contact us today.
Retroactive pay regarding the failure to account for all the veteran’s medical conditions.
Military Sexual Trauma case
Disability associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Retroactive pay regarding a PTSD misdiagnosis.
PTSD resulting in Unemployability
Traumatic brain injury case
Wrongfully denied SSA claim
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Non-presumptive cardiac impairment linked to Agent Orange
Agent Orange exposure case that led to Parkison’s disease.
ERISA long term disability benefits.
Comerford law puts 110% into getting what his VA clients sacrificed so much for and gets results. I give Comerford law a 5 star review.
From the start, Mr Comerford was prompt, matter of fact and yet empathetic. WHen we first spoke on the phone, Mr Comerford took the time to listen to my military history and then to help formulate a plan based on my circumstances. I had access to Mr Comerford by both email and phone. I was never denied time or a call. I am convinced that by using Mr Comerford's services, I received the best rating based on my circumstances. As…
Jim is very thorough. I have been getting the run around by the VA since I initially filed in 2014 and just had my BVA hearing so I have not yet received a decision from the judge. I previously had the American Legion and then the DAV as representatives and they truly dropped the ball. Jim was able to show and explain to me where mistakes had been made and he also helped me to retrieve documents I thought had…
My lawyer James Comerford did an awesome job for me and my wife for my disability case. And we did win my disability case after fighting the system. I would want him on my side. I would like to thank him he is a great guy.
My husband a Vietnam Vet filed a claim for an increased rating due to his PTSD, depression and other issues. in 2011. If the Veteran approved a claim it was one that stated we agree the claim condition exists but it is non-compensable. For many years we had someone else working with us and was disappointed with their ability to help us. Many times I filed the paperwork myself. It reached the point where I almost gave up hope. Then…
Mr. Comerford is a brilliant lawyer who assisted me with my VA disability case. I had been denied in the past, and he knew exactly what to do. Thankfully, he resolved my issue with the VA, getting me the rating I deserved. I am very happy and pleased with his service. I highly recommend Mr. Comerford for your disability needs if you are having problems. He is professional and responds very quickly whenever you may have questions or concerns.
Jim has been unbelievable in my VA disability case. He is down to earth, compassionate, realistic, and knowledgeable. Jim explains everything so you can understand and treats you with the utmost respect. I greatly appreciate is his rapid response to calls and emails. If he is unable to take your call he gets back to you very fast. Jim helped me get the rating I deserved and kept me informed along the way. He even found increased ratings where I…
I emailed Mr. Comerford concerning my son, a Gulf War era vet with a disability incurred during a deployment. My son was later denied VA disability benefits and I was inquiring with Mr. Comerford about an appeal. My son was and is currently treated by the VA’s medical professionals monthly. I have great respect and sincere appreciation for all that these folks have done, and will do, in order to help my boy live as normal of a life as…
More than a decade of fighting the VA for benefits and traveling through the delays and denials. I concluded that I was in need of someone who really who really cares in helping a veteran. After having various service officers I was still feeling left behind. I made the decision in retaining someone who new how to drive through the roads of delay and denials and that someone you should know is James Comerford.
I approached The Comerford Law Office because I had been working on my VA claim for over 5 years with little progress. Jim Comerford helped me by compiling the necessary documents and professional opinions needed for my claim. The result was that I finally received the hearing I had been waiting years for. Not only did I get my hearing, but Jim was there to represent me and give the correct, relevant information that was vital to my claim being…
He assisted me with my case and did an outstanding job. I am very thankful!
I was on full disability in 2005 i gave it up because i thout i could wor 3 yrs later i was back where i started, I found Mr. Comerford by accident, let me tell you he went to bat for me, he worked for a large law firm where everyone was just a file/number, he opened his own practice, small but knows everyone personally and by name, when I was down he didn't quit, when the judge denied me…
I contacted Jim after my first denial for SS Disability. He was referred to me by a good friend who had retained him for her Disability odyssey as well. My Disability case was somewhat difficult because I didn’t have a nice, large cache of medical documentation to back up my claim. Despite this and other complications Jim helped me get through my hearing and I received a fully favorable decision from the Judge and now I am just waiting to…
James is an absolutely great lawyer. He fully understands his area of expertise, he’s quick to answer any questions with clear, concise directions on how to proceed. His insight into understanding how to navigate with many case laws and government agencies helped me as his client better understand the case law and it’s ways. James is quick to answer emails and phone calls, and made me feel very comfortable. I highly, highly recommended James for his case law specialties. A…
Jim is absolutely one of the nicest, most compassionate, and intelligent lawyers out there. He is fast to answer any question with clear, concise direction. His insight into understanding how to navigate with many government agencies helps his clients in many ways. Jim is quick to answer emails and calls, and makes his clients feel very comfortable. Highly, highly recommended.
Jim is a good lawyer that helped us through a difficult purchase of our home(he also was the lawyer for the sale of our previous home). We had quite a few issues with the details of the purchase with both the bank and the seller that James made sure were resolved as quickly as possible. When the selling lawyer would not respond to phone calls/emails Jim physically went to the lawyer’s office and made sure that the final details were…
I had gone on disability before and got better so I went back to work again. When I got bad again and applied for disability, it was unbelievable. IT was hell. I got hooked up with Jim, and he was an incredible human being as well as a wonderful lawyer. I definitely recommend anyone who needs a disability lawyer to use Jim.
Jim has been representing me through my Social Security Disability adventure for 6 years. I knew my case would not be easy because of my disabilities. I contacted Jim after I initially applied for SSDI. My SSDI case was denied the first time through. Unfortunately, the Rheumatologist I had been seeing for 17 years kept horrible records, barely recording any medical history. After reviewing them, Jim knew this was going to be an uphill battle, but battle on he did.…
I was referred to Jim after my SSDI Request for Redetermination was denied. My original disability claim had been filed by a company claiming to specialize in disability---yet I was never allowed to speak with an actual attorney and I did everything except the original electronic submission of the claim---which was compiled by a low-level intake person. I dismissed them after my original claim was denied. I was immediately delighted to have found Jim. My first call was with Jim…
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