The Social Security Disability appeals process can be critically important for many disabled individuals and their families. Because the majority of initial claims for Social Security Disability benefits are denied, understanding how to wade through the multiple levels of the appeals process is important.

When a claim for Social Security Disability benefits is initially denied, the applicant should not necessarily be immediately discouraged. Many initial claims for SSD benefits are denied. The appeals process involves four levels of appeal and it is helpful to know what each is. The first step in the appeals process is a request for reconsideration. It involves a fresh set of eyes reviewing the claim anew.

If the claim for benefits remains denied, the next level of appeal is a hearing before an administrative law judge. At each level of the appeals process, as well as when initially applying for Social Security Disability benefits, it is important to have through, detailed and organized medical records. At the hearing phase, it is also important to be prepared for the hearing. The next level of appeal is a request to the Social Security Administration Appeals Council, followed by an appeal to federal court. Throughout the process, it can be useful to have help with the complexities, paperwork, preparation of witnesses, gathering of medical evidence and analysis of the disabled individual’s claim.

Many disabled individuals and their families rely on important Social Security Disability benefits for their everyday day needs. As a result, they should be familiar with their rights during the application and appeals processes.