Social Security disability (SSD) benefits are important for many families and disabled individuals but the SSD application process can sometimes feel like a maze which is why it is helpful to understand the application and appeals processes inside and out. Social Security disability benefits can help with medical expenses and everyday cost of living expenses and needs disabled individuals may struggle with because of their disability.
Applicants for disability benefits should understand how to navigate the application process which includes the initial application and gathering of medical records. If the claim is initially denied, and many are, there are several levels of appeals options. The first level of appeal is the request for reconsideration. Following that, if the claim for disability benefits is again denied, the next level of appeal is a hearing before an administrative law judge. Additional appeals options, including an appeal to the Appeals Council and federal courts, are also available if the appeal is also denied following a hearing.
In general, it is always beneficial for disabled individuals to know their rights and the requirements for SSD benefits. Benefits are available to individuals who are unable to work because of a disability caused by a physical or mental medical condition that is expected to last for a year or longer or result in death. In addition, work history requirements must also be met to qualify for SSD benefits.
The process of applying for SSD benefits can be complicated and may also involve Medicare and Medicaid implications and concerns. To ensure all of their concerns are properly addressed, and they have the best opportunity to obtain benefits, it is helpful for disabled individuals and their family members to be as familiar as possible with the application and appeals processes.