Many disabled people benefit from Social Security disability benefits. These benefits are available to people who meet the necessary criteria. Some people are denied SSD benefits when they apply for them, however. Is there a way to try to fix the situation if you think a mistake was made in denying the benefits? There is. This blog post will provide an extremely brief overview of the appeals process.
The first thing to do when denied Social Security disability benefits is to request an appeal. This request must be received by the Social Security Administration within 60 days of the date the rejection letter is received. The request can be made using appeal form SSA-561.
The first step in an appeal is reconsideration by the agency. The agency will take a fresh look at the case. The case will be assigned to a person who did not participate in the initial rejection. The claimant is allowed to present new evidence to the agency in the appeal.
If the claimant disagrees with the decision made on reconsideration, the next step is requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge, also known as an ALJ. The ALJ will notify the claimant of the time and place of the hearing, and the hearing is usually held at a location within 75 miles of the claimant’s home. The agency may request more evidence and information before the hearing, and the ALJ will ask questions. The claimant will be allowed to bring witnesses along and to have them provide information to the ALJ during the hearing.
If the claimant is not satisfied with the results of the hearing before the ALJ, the claimant can appeal to U.S. District Court. As with many court hearings, many parties find the advocacy of an attorney to be helpful.
Source: Social Security Administration, “The Appeals Process,” accessed on Jan. 28, 2018