It can be discouraging when a claim for Social Security Disability is denied. It is important for a disabled individual who has been turned down for SSD benefits to understand that most applications are initially denied and that an initial denial is not a final answer concerning benefits. Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits are a lifeline for many disabled individuals and their families, which is why it is important be prepared to utilize the resources available through the SSD appeals process.
After an initial application for benefits has been denied, there are several levels of appeal by which the applicant can seek a change to an initial denial of benefits. The initial phase of the appeals process is a Request for Reconsideration, which requires the applicant to provide medical and other documentation and the claim for benefits is reviewed by a new Social Security Administrator. If the claim is still denied, the next phase of the appeals process is a hearing before an administrative law judge. It is important to be adequately prepared for the hearing, as the judge will be determining if the applicant is able to work.
If the claim remains denied following a hearing before a judge, a review of the claim can be requested of the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council. Lastly, it is also possible to file a federal court appeal if the other levels of appeal prove unsuccessful. The SSD application and appeals processes can seem like a maze to disabled individuals who are badly in need of the benefits.
It is helpful to understand the appeals process and what information to provide to establish the applicant’s eligibility for benefits. Understanding how to navigate the SSD appeals process can prove vital for disabled applicants.