Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are a vital source of income for many people. Often, through no fault of their own, people are placed in a situation where a debilitating condition will not allow them to work.
At times, SSD can be challenging to obtain, and many applicants are refused on their first attempt. However, there is an appeals process that applicants can pursue if there’s a denial of their application. Outlined below are the four different stages of SSD appeals process.
Request for reconsideration
When an application has been denied, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will attach a detailed explanation as to why they made that decision. Additionally, they’ll provide information about how you may appeal the result.
The first step of this appeal process is to request a reconsideration. Once you do this, the SSA’s Disability Determination Services will review your application again. An examiner and medical consultant who has not previously reviewed your case will assess it to see if you should have qualified for benefits.
Hearing before an administrative law judge
If your request for reconsideration is denied, the next step is to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. Typically, this will involve a trained professional presenting medical and legal evidence on your behalf. This is the step where you have your best chance at success and should definitely have legal representation. We can help you.
If your claim is further denied, you can request a review by the Appeals Council. This body will determine if the administrative law judge made any errors.
Federal court review
The fourth and final step in the SSD appeal process is to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court. Federal judges generally only hear the appeal if there have been legal errors in previous rulings.
Understanding the SSD appeal process is in your best interests. If you are considering an SSD claim or appeal, it is important to know that you have legal rights.