This blog recently discussed how disabled individuals can qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Because Social Security disability (SSD) benefits can be difficult to obtain, and many applicants for disability benefits are initially denied, it is helpful for disabled individuals seeking benefits to also understand the appeals process if their application for benefits has been denied.
The Social Security disability appeals process mainly includes four phases and disabled individuals seeking benefits should be familiar with each. The first step when an application for SSD benefits has been denied is a Request for Reconsideration which may not be available everywhere. This involves a new reviewer taking a look at the entire application. If the application for disability benefits remains denied following the Request for Reconsideration, the disabled applicant can further appeal and will be scheduled for an administrative law judge hearing.
It is essential for disabled individuals seeking Social Security disability benefits to be prepared for their disability hearing and what to expect from it. If their application is again denied following the hearing, the next step is to appeal to the Appeals Council Review followed by pursuing an appeal to the Federal Courts if their appeal is also denied by the Appeals Council. It is important to keep in mind that the initial application should include carefully organized and complete medical records to meet both the disability requirement and work history requirements to receive benefits.
Winding through the maze of applying for SSD benefits, and appealing a denial of benefits, can be challenging for disabled individuals to face alone. Legal resources are available to help them and trained guidance can be useful as they navigate that challenging process to receive the benefits they need.