When the U.S. Social Security Administration denies your application for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, it is important to comprehend the reasons behind the denial. Understanding the basis for your denial is the first step in the appeals process.
Understanding why the SSA denied your claim may also help you formulate your appeal and make the strongest argument possible when submitting it.
Requesting a reconsideration
Only about 21% of applicants have the SSA approve their initial claims for SSDI. The initial step in appealing a denied SSDI claim is to request a reconsideration. This entails asking the Social Security Administration to reevaluate your application. Be sure to submit your request within 60 days of receiving the denial notice. If there is any new medical evidence that supports your claim, make sure to provide it at this stage.
Preparing for a hearing
If the SSA denies your claim during the reconsideration process, you can proceed to the next level of appeal, which involves requesting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Make sure you thoroughly prepare for this hearing. Collect all relevant medical records, witness statements and any other evidence that bolsters your case.
Attending the hearing
During the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present your case. Expect questions regarding your medical condition, work history and limitations. Honesty and cooperation during this phase are of utmost importance. If you have a representative, he or she can assist you during the hearing.
Receiving the decision
Following the hearing, the administrative law judge will issue a written decision. If the judge denies your claim, the possibility of further appeal still exists.
Requesting an appeals council review
If the administrative law judge denies your claim, you can request a review by the Appeals Council. This council will scrutinize the denial, evaluating its alignment with the law and reliance on substantial evidence.
Taking the case to federal court
Should the Appeals Council uphold the denial, the final option is taking your case to federal court. This is a time-consuming process, and not all claims progress to this level.
The process of appealing a denied SSDI claim can be demanding. Nevertheless, try to remain patient in your pursuit of the benefits you deserve.