Appealing a Denial of SSDI Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) receives countless applications for disability insurance (SSDI) every year, and the fact is that many applications will be denied. This does not mean that the individual will never receive benefits; it just means that they will have to start the appeals process
The first time an application is received, it is referred to as the initial application. If that is denied, the claimant can move on to the reconsideration level. At this level, the applicant can submit new evidence to prove their disability and their case will be reviewed by the Disability Determination Services (DDS) at the state level.
If the reconsideration is denied, the applicant can take their case to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). ODAR has the right to present medical experts at the hearing to dispute the applicant’s claims. The case will be heard before an administrative law judge and is a fairly informal hearing. The judge generally asks questions about the disability, how it limits work, and asks about medical history and treatments. The judge will then make a decision that is termed fully favorable, partially favorable, or unfavorable. If the decision is not fully favorable, the next step is to go to the Appeals Council, which will review the case to make sure there were no errors in the lower courts. The final stage of appeals, if necessary, is federal court.
It is important for applicants to always make sure they have completed all the necessary paperwork and have provided more than enough evidence to prove their disability. The process can be lengthy and frustrating, so patience and organization are key factors to a successful claim for benefits. Applicants are highly encouraged to seek the services of an attorney to successfully navigate through the appeals system. SSDI benefits are too important to not have legal help.
Tags: Appealing a Claim, SSDI Appeal, SSDI Appeals Process, SSDI Assistance