Unfortunately, many Social Security disability applications for benefits are denied. That is not the end of the story, however, and applicants for these important benefits should also be familiar with appeals options available to help them obtain the benefits they need.
Social Security disability benefits are based on work history and meeting the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability by demonstrating the disabled individual suffers from a medical condition that is so severe it prevents them from working and is expected to last longer than a year or result in death. The Social Security disability application and appeals processes can be challenging so it is helpful for disabled applicants to be familiar with them.
The appeals process begins with a request for reconsideration during which another reviewer at the Social Security Administration reviews the application so a fresh set of eyes is looking at it. The next step is a hearing before an administration law judge if the appeal remains denied following the request for reconsideration. The Social Security Administration Appeals Council is the next step in the process followed by an appeal in federal court.
Because the application and appeals processes can be complex, it can be helpful to have guidance through the process of gathering medical records; working with doctors and other medical care providers; preparing for a hearing; organizing paperwork and witnesses; and other aspects of the appeals process. Understanding how the appeals process works can help disabled individuals better navigate the process and obtain the benefits they oftentimes badly need through the appeals process to help with day-to-day needs and concerns.