There is a lot of misinformation floating around about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, one rumor that has a basis in reality is the claim that many qualified applicants wind up receiving a denial for their benefits instead of an approval.
It is hard to know exactly how many people who desperately need disability benefits wind up denied those benefits, but many people have no choice but to appeal that denial because they have no other reasonable source of income to support themselves.
If you or someone you love has recently applied for SSDI and received a denial letter, the good news is that there are four separate ways that you can potentially appeal and get the benefits that you need.
A reconsideration is the most basic appeal
Some of the processing done with SSDI applications involves computers, while other parts of the process involve individuals. Computers can make mistakes when they don’t recognize a diagnosis, and individuals can make errors in judgment.
Those who work for the Social Security Administration (SSA) may have processed an application with the same condition as yours in the past that turned out to be fraudulent, an experience which could make that person skeptical of people with your specific diagnosis. Whatever the reason, when denied, you can request a reconsideration that has someone else look over your application and could result in an approval.
You can see an administrative law judge
When most people think of an SSDI appeal, they think about going in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ) in the courts. An ALJ will review their application and the standards set by the SSA to determine if that person should receive benefits.
The SSA has an Appeals Council
If the ALJ does not rule in your favor, you can request a review by the Appeals Council. They review the ruling made by the judge and either make a decision or return the case to a different ALJ for reconsideration.
You could always go to Federal District Court
While you can ask for consideration, request a hearing and even ask for Appeals Council review online, asking for a federal court review requires physical filing. It is the last option if the Appeals Council does not rule in your favor or chooses not to review your case.
Handling an appeal alone can be even more difficult than handling an SSDI application. Getting support could increase your chances of success.