Suppose you applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and received a denial letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you are in this situation, you have the right to appeal that decision at several levels. An appeal may enable you to get SSDI benefits if your medical condition makes you unable to engage in substantial gainful employment, and your condition is expected to last for at least one year or end in death.
Throughout many stages of the appeals process, you can continue to provide new medical evidence to the SSA to support your claim for SSDI benefits. As a result, you should continue to get routine medical care for your medical conditions as needed, take your medications as prescribed, and follow your doctors’ other recommendations. Additional medical information can be crucial in proving that you are eligible for SSDI benefits.
Request a Reconsideration
According to the SSA, you can appeal an initial denial of your SSDI application by requesting a reconsideration. In a reconsideration, someone who did not participate in the initial review of your application will thoroughly review your claim. That person will consider all the evidence that you previously submitted to the SSA, as well as any new evidence that you submit to the SSA with your appeal. You generally must request reconsideration within 60 days of receiving your denial notice.
Request a Hearing
After your reconsideration is complete, you will receive another notice stating whether you qualify for SSDI benefits. If the SSA still denies your benefits after the reconsideration process, you can ask fur a further appeal within 60 days of receiving that notice. When you submit this appeal, you ask for a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). The ALJ is a person who did not participate in the initial review or the reconsideration of your application for SSDI benefits.
You will appear at a hearing in front of the ALJ and present evidence about your medical conditions and how they make you unable to work. In addition, you can provide new evidence at the hearing that you did not provide when you initially applied for SSDI benefits or when you asked for reconsideration.
Request an Appeals Council Review
After you attend your hearing, the ALJ will issue a decision in your case, which either grants or denies your appeal. If the ALJ finds that you do not qualify for SSDI benefits, you can further appeal your case within 60 days of receiving that decision. At this level of appeal, you are asking for the Appeals Council to review your application for SSDI benefits.
The Appeals Council is a separate group of people that reviews cases involving the denial of SSDI application. They can decide not to review your case if they find that the hearing decision follows all laws and regulations. However, if they decide to review your case, they can issue a decision in your case or return your case to the ALJ for further review.
File Suit in Federal Court
If the Appeals Council denies your request for review, you can file a lawsuit in federal district court to challenge your denial of SSDI benefits. The Court will determine whether the SSA followed the law and regulations in denying your SSDI benefits.
Contact Us Today at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C.
We have years of experience handling your employment, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability legal needs. We provide the legal knowledge and guidance you need when facing these types of legal problems. Call us at (918) 582-2500 or visit us online to see how we can assist you.