Many applications for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits are initially denied. Because they are benefits disabled individuals may rely on, it is helpful for them to be familiar with the Social Security disability appeals process.
There are several levels of appeals for disabled applicants who have been denied Social Security disability benefits.
Request for reconsideration
A request for reconsideration is a request that a person who was not involved in the original decision reviews the application for benefits. The new person will review the initial application and any new information the applicant provides.
Hearing before administrative law judge
If the request for reconsideration is not approved, the next step is for the disabled applicant to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. The disabled applicant should submit any requested information they would like the administrative law judge to consider. During the hearing, questions may be asked and witnesses and expert witnesses may all be present and questioned.
Social Security Administration (SSA) Appeals Council Review
If the administrative law judge denies the disabled applicant’s application for benefits, they can request a review by the SSA Appeals Council Review which has discretion to review the application request or not.
Appeal to federal court
If the application for benefits remains denied after the third step, the disabled applicant can appeal in the federal courts.
Social Security disability benefits can help disabled individuals with their daily needs and challenges. Because of the vital role SSD benefits can play in the lives of many disabled individuals, it is important for them to not give up following an initial denial of benefits and be familiar with the different appeals options available to them.