Many Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims receive denials the first time around. This does not mean that you should give up hope. You still have the right to file an appeal with the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The process, however, is not easy. There are several administrative steps filled with complex paperwork and other challenges. The more you learn about the appeals process, the better chance you have at success.
The steps of the process
Let’s say that you file your initial claim only to receive a denial from the SSA. You can go through the following steps to seek a different decision.
- File a request for reconsideration
First, you can submit a new request with the SSA to have a new individual evaluate your claim. They will choose to accept your claim or deny it again.
- Have an administrative hearing
If you receive another denial, you can request a hearing before a judge. The judge will review your claim and any evidence you present, then issue a decision.
- Go to the appeals council
Should the judge deny your claim again, you can bring your claim to the appeals council. The council might decline your request for a review if they feel that the judge made the right call, or it may choose to review your claim and give a new decision.
- Request a federal district court review
Finally, if you still did not receive the decision you hoped for, you can go to the federal district court and file a lawsuit. If the federal judges determines that the SSA’s previous decision was not based in fact, it will reverse it.
Appeals are a crucial lifeline for the many claimants throughout the United States who receive unjust denials. Even if you receive a first, second or third denial, there could be a way for you to challenge the decision. An appeal is rarely simple, but it just might be the step that you need to receive the disability benefits you need and deserve.