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CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC

Level 4: Your Options After Being Denied by the Administrative Law Judge

  • Published: March 20, 2014

If you have been through the hearing level of appeal and still received a denial of your claim for disability benefits, you may want to ask your Ocala Social Security disability claims attorney about the possibility of appealing to the next level: federal court.

Be aware that there are only two arguments that will have any merit at this level of appeal: either the judge’s decision is not supported by substantial evidence or the judge made a legal error. You and your Ocala Social Security disability claims attorney will have to figure out if you can make a compelling case for one of these arguments.

Finding Substantial Evidence

The role of the federal court is to review the evidence that was presented at a disability hearing and determine if there is enough “evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate” to support the judge’s decision. The term for this standard is “substantial evidence.”

Consider a case where there is a great deal of evidence supporting your claim of disability and only a small sliver of evidence supporting the conclusion that you are not. The federal court will weigh these sides and decide if the evidence is enough to support the conclusion that you are not disabled. What counts as “substantial evidence?” How much is enough? Will the small piece of evidence against you be enough to counter the mountain of evidence that supports you? Your Ocala Social Security disability claims attorney might say that the answer is probably not. However, this depends heavily on the judge ruling on your case.

Some judges will go out of their way to find evidence that affirms the ALJ’s decision, while others look closely into the ALJ’s decision and find a substantial lack of evidence in their reasoning.

Legal Error

The other argument you and your Ocala Social Security disability lawyer can make is that the ALJ failed to follow the SSA’s regulations when making a determination. This is a harder argument to make, but it has happened in some cases.

To find out more about your options for appeal if your disability claim is denied, consult an Ocala Social Security disability lawyer. Call CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC at 352.304.5300.

Claudeth Henry

Attorney Henry is a Florida disability lawyer uniquely suited to
help you with your disability-related legal needs...Read More