When a Georgia resident is injured, ill or is suffering from a condition that renders them unable to work, Social Security disability benefits are important. These benefits can help them make ends meet, get the medical care they desperately need and more. If the application moves forward and the Social Security Administration denies the claim, it can be a nightmarish occurrence in the person’s life. Often, they will not be sure as to what they can do next. Fortunately, however, there are options to appeal a denied Social Security disability benefits claim. Knowing what steps to take is one of the key factors in a successful appeal.
There might be a perception that a denial means that case is over. That is not true. Often, the case was denied not on its merits, but because the applicant made a mistake in the application process. Simply correcting the mistake can put the case in an entirely new light and warrant an approval. Even if there is a denial because of a lack of evidence or the applicant did not meet all the requirements for SSD benefits, there can still be an approval on appeal.
When appealing a denied claim, there are four levels the applicant can use. There are rules when appealing. One is that the appeal must be made within 60 days of receiving the letter denying the initial application. First, the applicant can file a request for reconsideration. The SSA is asked to reevaluate the claim under reconsideration. If it is denied again, the applicant can ask that the case be heard by an Administrative Law Judge. The ALJ will assess the case, listen to new evidence from witnesses and look at updated medical information. Should the case be denied by the ALJ, the person can ask that the Appeals Council look at the case. The Appeals Council is not obligated to do so, but the case can be heard and overturned if they find the ALJ made an error. Finally, there is the option of taking it to federal court.
Although it will be upsetting to have a claim for SSD benefits denied, those who are legitimately ill, injured or have a condition that prevents them from performing substantial gainful activity should be cognizant of their options to appeal. A law firm that helps clients with the Social Security disability claims can walk the applicant through the process and be of immediate assistance with a case.