Living with a disability can be challenging for those in Georgia and elsewhere. Whether one was born with a medical condition or suffered a disabling injury or illness later in life, the reality is that a disability can impact one’s life in ways that are out of one’s control. Take working for example. A condition could be severe enough that it makes it impossible to work. This then causes much economic hardship for the individual. In order to help offset the financial harm caused by this, Social Security disability benefits are available. Unfortunately, applying for these benefits does not mean an automatic approval. In fact, many initial applicants are denied.
What is the appeal process after an SSD denial? This process can be broken down into four steps. To begin, the appeal process can begin in one of two situations. First, when an applicant is denied benefits, and second, when the Social Security Administration has stopped the monthly payments of a recipient. Either event can trigger a filing for an appeal.
Once an appeal is filed, the next step is to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. This process results in either the judge upholding to overturning the denial or stopping of monthly benefits. If the judge upholds the denial, then the third step to take is a review by the appeals council. If the matter gets chosen for review, the council has the power to grant, deny or dismiss one’s request for disability benefits.
If an unfavorable decision results, the final step is to request a federal court review. This essentially means that one is suing the SSA in federal district court. The federal judges have the power to reverse a denial; however, they can also uphold the decision of the council.
Applying for SSD benefits can be a necessary step to take; thus, if an applicant is denied, appealing this decision can also be a necessary step to take. Both of these processes can be detailed and involved, causing one to be unsure of what to do. It may be helpful to gain legal guidance in these matters, as it can help ensure one is well informed of their situation, rights and options.