What happens if you have applied for Social Security income because of your disability and you were denied by the Social Security Administration? What you may not be aware of is that the letter you received in the mail is not the final word. You can move through the appeals process and there is a possibility you will be approved.
You have 60 days to file an appeal after you receive your letter which is called the initial denial. Reconsideration is the next level of appeal. You can pick up forms at your local Social Security office, request them by mail or check online. The Reconsideration request is reviewed by a different set of employees and not the ones who first reviewed your request.
Many people give up after they are denied a second time. However, you have 60 days to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. The judge will hear from the claimant and any witnesses. The judge does not work for the Social Security Administration and decides based on the evidence presented.
If the judge denies the claim, you can appeal to the Appeals Council. A claimant can appear before the council if the council agrees to review the case. If the council will not review the case or if the case is denied, you can file in the U.S. District Court. If the court sides with the claimant, the case is sent back to the Administrative Law Judge.
The appeals process can take more than a year and involves several complicated steps. If you don’t meet the deadlines your claim can be denied and you will have to file your claim again. Many people hire an advocate or attorney to help them with their appeal.