Georgia residents have disagreements with one another virtually every day. Most disagreements are minor in scope, of course, but some can have a major bearing on a person’s life.

In the legal system, a person’s disagreement with the decision that is made in his or her case is certainly a major issue. The denial of a claim for Social Security disability benefits, for example, can have a major impact in the person’s life because of the loss of financial help that is so desperately needed.

Fortunately, when an erroneous decision is made, the individual has recourse to challenge the denied claim. Last week, for example, this blog discussed the successful appeal brought by a man who was initially denied disability benefits after suffering a work-related injury. The appellate court reversed the decision made by an administrative law judge after concluding the initial decision was incorrect and illogical.

While an appeal can successfully overturn a wrongful decision, there are certain requirements that must be followed in order to pursue the appeal. First, the individual needs to determine what avenues of appeal are available and advisable in a given situation. The individual can ask for reconsideration of the erroneous decision, a hearing before an administrative law judge, a review by the Social Security Appeals Council and an action in federal district court. Once within the district court, there is another appellate review that may be sought to a federal appeals court, which was what happened in the case discussed last week.

Each level of review has different requirements to satisfy. For instance, there are different timing requirements, as an appeal must be filed within a certain time in order to preserve the right to appeal. Accordingly, it is vital that each of these requirements be fulfilled in order to challenge the erroneous decision and get the relief the individual deserves.

Source: Social Security Administration, “Your right to an Administrative Law Judge Hearing and Appeals Council Review of Your Social Security Case,” accessed on Aug. 6, 2016