Can I Appeal My SSD Denial?
Experiencing a disabling injury or being diagnosed with a disabling medical condition is extremely difficult for anyone, and it is important to begin the application process for Social Security Disability benefits if you are eligible. Yet for many disabled adults, after going through the complex application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, they receive a letter that says their claim has been denied. There are various reasons that an SSDI claim can be denied, from legitimate issues concerning eligibility to errors made in the application. If you received a denial of benefits, can you appeal? In general, as long as you do so within the required time frame, you can appeal the Social Security Administration’s decision.
There are four separate levels of appeal, and it is important to know that you will generally be required to go through those levels of appeal in a particular order. In other words, you cannot choose your appeal option. Instead, you will begin with reconsideration and continue to appeal up to federal court if necessary. Our national SSDI benefits attorneys can provide you with more information about the appeals process and what you will need to do to appeal a denial of benefits.
The first level of appeal is reconsideration. You can request a reconsideration online, but you must do it within 60 days of receiving the denial of benefits. With a reconsideration, your application will be completely reviewed again, and the person who reviews your claim will not be someone who reviewed it the first time. At the level of reconsideration, your initial evidence will be reviewed, and you can also submit additional or new evidence to be considered. Reconsideration requests are separated into two categories: request for a medical reconsideration (if your claim was denied for a reason related to your disability) or a nonmedical reconsideration (if your claim was denied for a reason unrelated to your disability).
Hearing By an Administrative Law Judge
If your application is denied upon reconsideration, you can request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). This is a formal hearing, and you will need to present your case. Like the reconsideration, your request for a hearing can be a request for a medical hearing or a request for a nonmedical hearing. You should certainly have a lawyer on your side to assist with the hearing.
Review By the Appeals Council
If you lose your case at the hearing before the ALJ, you can make a request online for a review by the Social Security Appeals Council. The Appeals Council has the ability to deny or dismiss a request if it does not believe any errors were made at the hearing.
Federal Court Review
Finally, if the Appeals Council denies your claim or refuses to review your case, you may be able to file a lawsuit in federal court.
Contact a National Disability Benefits Lawyer Today
If you applied for SSDI benefits and were denied, you have options for appealing. Even if you were denied initially and already lost your appeal at the level of reconsideration or beyond, you may still have options for a successful appeal so that you can receive the disability benefits you need. You should contact one of the national SSDI benefits lawyers at the Law Offices of Stephen Barszcz for more information.