Social Security Disability helps millions of people who can’t work due to a medical condition. The condition may be expected to last at least one year or result in death.
After applying for Social Security Disability and being denied, it is important to know your next steps. The good news is that most denials are overturned on appeal, but you must ensure you take the right actions.
1) Start by Requesting a Reconsideration of Your Claim
This is when your application is reviewed again. Start by filling out a Request for Reconsideration form and submit it to your local Social Security office. You can also submit it online or by calling the Social Security Administration.
Submit your request for reconsideration within 60 days of receiving your denial letter.
The reconsideration process can take up to three months. During this time, your case will be reviewed by someone who didn’t make the original decision. They will look at all the evidence in your file and any new evidence you submit.
2) Request a Hearing in Front of an Administrative Law Judge
This is your chance to present your case and have it reviewed by someone who wasn’t involved in the original decision. Requesting a hearing can be done online, by mail, or in person.
Be sure to request your hearing within 60 days of receiving your denial letter. The hearing process can take several months. A notice is sent to your mail with the date, time, and location of your hearing. You get an opportunity to present witnesses and evidence to support your case at the hearing. An administrative law judge will then decide on your claim.
In the US, every state handles SSDI applications through state agencies. For example, Texas handles the SSDI applications through Disability Determination Services (DDS). If you have difficulties in applying for SSDI in Texas, you are free to call a social security disability attorney in Dallas, TX, who can help you with the appeal process. Every state has a different agency to manage the SSDI application. So, consult a lawyer who knows the SSDI laws of your state.
3) Review the Decision
A written decision from the judge is sent to you after your hearing. If you are approved, you will start receiving benefits. You can request a review by the Social Security Appeals Council if you are denied.
While the appeal process can be long and confusing, an experienced attorney can help you.
4) Request a Social Security Appeals Council Review
The Social Security Appeals Council is a group of administrative law judges who review hearing decisions. If they agree with the decision, your claim will be denied. If they disagree with the decision, they will send your case back to the judge for another hearing or approve your claim themselves.
5) File a Lawsuit in Federal District Court
If you disagree with the decision of the Appeals Council, you can file a lawsuit in a federal district court. This comes as a last resort, as it is expensive and time-consuming. The court examines whether the judge made any legal errors in your case.
The appeals process for Social Security Disability can be long and complicated, but an experienced attorney can help you navigate it and give you the best chance of getting the benefits you need.