It always shocks me when I hear that Social Security has discouraged someone from filing an appeal. However, several times a year someone tells me something like this:
When I asked for the forms to appeal I was told, ‘if you appeal, you are just going to be denied.’
This is improper for a number of reasons:
- It is not Social Security’s job to encourage or discourage people from pursuing cases. You have a right to appeal!
- If you are requesting a hearing, the person telling you not to appeal will not be the person making the decision. So he or she has not idea what the outcome will be.
- Telling you not to appeal assumes that Social Security knows all there is to know about a case and nothing will change the decision. As a lawyer whose job it is to get Social Security to change its mind, I can tell you I have not seen a single case that Social Security had all of the relevant information.
If someone at Social Security tells you not to bother appealing, get the person’s name and ask to speak to head of that Social Security office.
Better still, send a letter both to head of the Social Security office and to your Congressperson complaining that Social Security is bullying you out of pursing your rights.
You may have a good case. You may have a bad case. However, it is an abuse of power to try to talk you out of pursuing your rights by telling you that you will be denied again.