The majority of claims for Social Security disability benefits are initially denied. For that reason, it is important for individuals who have had their claim for Social Security disability benefits denied to be familiar with their appeals rights and how to appeal a denial of a claim for Social Security disability.
Social Security disability benefits are available to disabled individuals who suffer from a medical condition severe enough that it prevents them from working and that is expected to last for 12 months or longer or result in death. There are also work history eligibility requirements to meet. When an application for benefits has been denied, the appeals process includes levels of appeal.
Request for Reconsideration
A request for reconsideration involves fresh eyes on the application for benefits. A new reviewer will review the entire application for disability benefits from the beginning, including the disabled applicant’s medical records.
Administrative Law hearing
If the application for benefits remains denied following a request for review, the next step in the appeals process involves a hearing before an administrative law judge. The disabled applicant should ensure they are prepared for the administrative law hearing.
Social Security Administration (SSA) Appeals Council review
If the disabled applicant’s application for disability benefits is denied by the administrative law judge, they can request that the application for benefits be reviewed by the SSA Appeals Council.
Filing court appeal
The last level of appeal is to file an appeal in federal court.
Disabled applicants for Social Security disability benefits should not necessarily be discouraged if their initial claim for benefits is denied as most are. They should be familiar with Social Security disability appeals options and the SSD appeals process so they can seek the benefits they need.