If you have considered filing for social security disability, you may have heard that many people are denied benefits the first time they file. The good news is that you are given the opportunity to appeal the initial decision. The chance of getting approved increases if you choose to appeal the denial and get your case heard by an administrative law judge. Before you file for your disability you should become familiar with the social security disability appeals process:
Once your benefits claim has been denied you are given the opportunity to appeal the decision in four different ways. The first appeals process is a reconsideration. This is where you will submit your documents to be reviewed by a claims examiner at Disability Determination Services. Many of these reconsideration reviews are also denied, but a number of states require them before you can move to the second stage of the appeals process.
Have a Hearing
Once you have requested a reconsideration and had it denied, you will then be given the opportunity to request a hearing with the ALJ or administrative law judge. During the hearing, you will provide the courts with your documentation as well as answer any questions the judge may have. This hearing gives you the opportunity to explain your disability as well as how it effects you and your ability to work.
If the ALJ also denies your claim, you are given a third round of appeals. This appeal is done through the appeals council. If you feel the judge made their decision based on false information, you can take your case to appeals council. The council will review your case to determine if the judge used the proper rules and was presented all available evidence of your claim.
The appeals council has a few options they can use in deciding your case including:
- Reverse a judges decision
- Order the case to a new hearing
- Issue another denial
If you have filed the first three appeals with no avail and still feel as though you are eligible for social security disability, you can file a suit through the federal district court. The federal court will only hear cases that have been denied at all three previous stages.
While being denied your social security disability claim may leave you devastated, it is important to stand your ground by following the appeals process until you have exhausted all options. If you have questions concerning your disability claim and the appeals process, you may wish to consult with an attorney to insure you are following the proper steps to get the benefits you need to survive.