It may be discouraging and even frustrating for disabled individuals who are badly in need of Social Security disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to have an application for benefits be denied. It is important to keep in mind, however, that many initial applications are not approved and that is not the end of the process. When an initial claim for SSD or SSI benefits has been denied, it is important for Atlanta applicants to be familiar with the appeals process.

There are several steps in the SSD appeals process. The first step is to make a Request for Reconsideration. When requesting reconsideration, the applicant will gather relevant medical records and other documents which will be reviewed by a new administrator at the Social Security Administration (SSA). If the reconsideration process is not successful, the applicant still has options for appeal. The applicant can petition for a hearing during which an administrative law judge will evaluate if the applicant is fit to work.

There are several progressive appeals options and if the applicant is not successful at the hearing, the applicant can request that the SSA Appeals Council reviews the applicant’s claim for disability. Additionally, if the administrative appeals process does not result in an approval for disability benefits, the applicant also has the option to file a federal court appeal.

Because of how important disability benefits are to disabled individuals, there are many steps in the process of applying for benefits, including during the appeals process. It is important for disabled individuals to be familiar with their options for appeal and to understand how to best approach the application process at the outset of the process as well.