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What are the stages for appealing a denied SSDI claim?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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By the time you realize that you need financial help, you may already be in over your head. Quite a few people who could qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits try to find other solutions before they finally apply for benefits.

They might try different medical therapies or working with their employer. Accommodations can help some people stay on the job, but you may eventually have to acknowledge that you can’t continue to do the same work indefinitely. You may only decide to apply for SSDI when you know you have to leave your job and you still have bills to pay.

Unfortunately, connecting with SSDI benefits can be a very lengthy process. It can sometimes take more than a year, especially if your initial application gets denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA). After a denied application, you have the right to appeal. What does that appeal process involve?

There are 4 potential levels of appeal

The SSA recognizes that there are limitations to their application handling process. Computer programs that help catch the most severe conditions may overlook or improperly categorize other qualifying applicants. Individuals personally reviewing applications might make assumptions or apply information from a previous case that affects their judgment.

All of that is in addition to the potential for an applicant to not properly explain their condition or its impact on their life. After a denial, an applicant will have four different appeal options, starting with a reconsideration request.

A reconsideration is a relatively straightforward step that you can request online. It involves having a second SSA employee look over your file. If that doesn’t result in an approval, then you can move on to more rigorous appeals.

After reconsideration comes a hearing in court

If you requested reconsideration and work successful or if you needed to correct your application or secure more medical documentation, going in front of an administrative law judge will likely be the next step to take. A judge who understands the Social Security program and what kinds of conditions qualify applicants will listen to your testimony and review medical documentation.

Many applicants secure an approval during this step. For those who do not, there are still two more possible appeals. They could ask for a review by the Appeals Council. Those denied even at that stage have the option of requesting Federal Court review.

Whether you want help with your initial application so that you don’t have to appeal or assistance with navigating the often complex process, assistance with an SSDI application will the affair easier.