What are the steps in appealing a disability claim?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Social Security Disability

While you hope that Social Security disability benefits will provide you with the financial relief that you need after suffering a debilitating injury or medical condition, many disability claims are initially denied. What does that mean for you? If your claim is unsuccessful on the first try, then you need to consider appealing your case. But what does that process look like?

There are several appellate stages that you can avail yourself of if your claim is denied. They include:

  • Reconsideration: Here, you ask that your claim be re-evaluated by someone who wasn’t involved in the initial decision on your claim. You can even submit additional evidence to support your claim.
  • Reconsideration appeal: If your claim is still denied after reconsideration, then you can request an official hearing in front of an administrative judge to appeal the reconsideration outcome. Again, this individual will not have been a part of the initial evaluation and determination of your claim. At this hearing, you can present additional evidence and clarify any points that may be in controversy. You can even have witnesses there to testify on your behalf.
  • Social Security Appeals Council review: If you still don’t have a favorable decision, then you can ask to have your case reviewed by the full Appeals Council. This is a discretionary review, though, meaning that they may not take up your case. If they do, though, then the record you presented will be re-evaluated and an ultimate decision will be issued.

You might also be able to appeal your case to a federal court. So, don’t lose hope just because you’ve suffered an initial denial.

How you approach your disability claim appeal can make all the difference in your ultimate outcome. That’s why it’s critical that you devote the time and attention needed to building a robust case. Hopefully then you can recover the financial assistance needed to focus on your recovery and secure stability.

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