The Appeals Process
Many workers who apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) will be denied. The SSA receives an overwhelming number of applications and must sometimes make hasty decisions. The applicant has the right to appeal the denial through a serious of processes designed to reverse the denial from the SSA if the applicant truly has a disability preventing them from working and can prove it. The SSA is very strict about their decision making process to prevent people from fraudulently receiving disability benefits that they truly do not need or deserve.
The initial step in the appeals process is called a reconsideration. The applicant will complete the reconsideration forms and then the SSA will send them to the State Disability Determination Services office where the applicant lives. This office will review the applicant’s medical records and other evidence and then make a decision or determination about their application. The applicant is allowed to submit additional information in addition to the documents from the first application. If the application is denied, the second step is called a hearing.
The applicant will complete a request for hearing by an administrative law judge and an appeal disability report. These forms will be sent to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. The office might request further information from the applicant to clarify their claim of disability. The applicant can also request a face to face meeting with a judge. If the claim is again denied, the next step is a review with an appeals council.
The Appeals Council Review will appoint someone in their office to review the applicant’s medical records and make a determination about benefits. It is the right of the Appeals Council to deny the request for a review if they believe that the previous hearing resulted in a proper and legal ruling.
The final step to the appeals process, if necessary, is filing a case against the SSA in federal district court. The applicant must be represented by an attorney for this action. A district court judge will hear the case and make a ruling about SSDI for the applicant.
Those who file any type of appeal must be meticulous with their recordkeeping and be able to provide medical documentation of their disability. They must also be patient, as the appeals process can be lengthy and frustrating.
Tags: Appealing a Claim, Appeals Process, SSDI Appeal, SSDI Appeals Process, SSDI Application