The first stage of a New Hampshire Social Security disability claim is the review of your initial application. The Social Security Administration sends your case to a state agency in Concord – Disability Determination Services – to gather additional information and to make an initial determination on your claim. The initial determination is usually made within three or four months.
If your case is denied, then you must appeal within 60 days of your initial denial letter, by requesting Reconsideration. At Reconsideration, your claim will be assigned to a new disability examiner, and will be reevaluated by a different medical team at Disability Determination Services. Any new evidence submitted will be considered, and a new decision will be issued.
If your claim is denied at Reconsideration, then you must request a hearing by an Administrative Law Judge within 60 days.
The administrative hearings are usually conducted at the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) in Manchester, New Hampshire. The hearings are either held in person, by videoconference, or by telephone. At the hearing, the judge will review the medical evidence, hear your testimony, and may take testimony from a medical or vocational expert witness. The judge will often ask your representative to make an opening statement, which will describe the factors supporting your disability claim.
Additionally, it is my practice to prepare a hearing brief for the judge. The hearing brief sets forth the background facts of your claim, describes the medical evidence, and gives a “theory of the case” telling the judge why your claim should be granted under the Social Security disability evaluation process.
If you are a New Hampshire resident, it is very important to select a Social Security disability lawyer who is familiar with the New Hampshire judges, because one of them will decide your disability claim.
We serve clients with Social Security and SSI claims throughout the state of New Hampshire.For help with your New Hampshire disability claim, please contact Gordon Gates today.