What are my options for appealing an SSD denial?

Your injury has kept you from returning to your Kentucky workplace, so it seemed as if applying for Social Security disability benefits was the right thing to do. However, now you have received a denial. How will you support yourself if you cannot work? Is this the end of the line?

Fortunately, a denial from the Social Security Administration can be appealed. In fact, the SSA has set up a series of options for people with disabilities to pursue to make sure that they are not denied benefits that they should have. You should begin this process as soon as possible after you receive the denial because there is a time limit of 60 days from the date you receive it.

You may simply need to have a fresh set of eyes go over your information. A reconsideration puts all of your documents, including any new evidence you may provide, into the hands of a person who had nothing to do with the denial. 

Even if the reconsideration does not result in benefits, you have another option. You can request a hearing with an administrative law judge who was not part of either the original denial or the reconsideration. As in a court case, you may call witnesses such as your doctor or a vocational professional who can testify as to your disability. You are allowed to have representation with you at the hearing.

If you receive a denial after the hearing, you may request that the Social Security's Appeals Council review your case. The Appeals Council may determine that the hearing decision was correct and refuse to review your case. Alternately, the Appeals Council could make a new decision, or send the case back to the administrative law judge for a new hearing.

Your final option is litigation. You may be able to take your case before a federal district judge to appeal the denial and attempt to receive benefits. Cases often have unique factors; therefore, this general overview of the appeals process is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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