We all lose a disability claim now and then. When the claim really should have been granted, the next step is drafting a Request for Review for the Appeals Council. Like most appeals of Social Security disability claims, there is a 60-day deadline for the appeal. But the best time to write a first draft of an appeal is right away, as soon as you receive the unfavorable decision, while the case is fresh in your mind and you are incensed at the injustice of the ALJ’s decision.
I had a case recently denied by an administrative law judge. The judge’s written decision went full-on Captain Queeg with the strawberries . The decision discounted three separate treating and examining physician opinions in the record, and adopted the DDS non-examining physician opinion based solely on a review of the medical record. Given the medical evidence, the past relevant work, and the age of the claimant, it was a particularly unfortunate decision.
Don’t wait to get your initial thoughts on paper. Start that appeal right away, and outline the areas where the judge’s decision was unsupported. You can polish the language later, but get a draft going right away. Your appeal will be the better for it.