You may be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits if you suffer a long-term or permanent disability that prevents you from working.
Unfortunately, your initial application may be denied by the Social Security Administration—even if you clearly meet the eligibility requirements.
If this happens, you'll need to act quickly to file an appeal and preserve your right to benefits.
SSDI Application Appeals Process
If your application for benefits is denied, it's important not to submit a new application. It could automatically get denied again. Instead you should appeal your denial within the strict time periods set by law. You'll need the assistance of an experienced Social Security attorney if you want to be successful. Here are the four levels of appeal in these cases:
- Reconsideration. Your first step in appealing your denial is to file a request for reconsideration. A claims examiner who wasn't involved in your original request will review your claim and any new information your attorney may include.
- Hearing. If the claim is denied after reconsideration, you must request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). You have 60 days from the receipt of reconsideration denial to file your request for a hearing. At the hearing, you'll be able to testify, have witnesses and expert witnesses testify on your behalf, and provide additional evidence that supports your application.
- Appeals Council. If the ALJ denies your appeal, your next step would be to ask the Social Security Appeals Council to review your denial. The Council can grant, deny, or dismiss your request for review, and there's no guarantee you'll be granted another hearing.
- Federal Court lawsuit. Your last option in appealing your case is to file a lawsuit with the help of your lawyer. The lawsuit is tried in a federal court and its outcome decided by a federal judge.
Appealing a denial of a Social Security Disability Insurance application is complicated, and you shouldn't attempt to do so yourself. The attorneys of Johnson & Gilbert, P.A., have extensive experience defending the rights of clients just like you. Call our Ormond Beach office today to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal rights and how we can help you.