Understanding The Process For Successfully Appealing Your Denied SSDI Claim

If you are one of the people whose Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim has been denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA), then take heart in knowing that you are not alone. While you are likely feeling disappointed and frustrated with your application status, the good news is that by appealing the denial, you can get the benefits that you are entitled to have from paying into the Social Security system over your working years. 

Here is some information to help you understand the process of successfully appealing your SSDI denial:

The Application Reconsideration Request

The first step in appealing your SSDI claim is to file an official reconsideration request with the SSA. Either you or your attorney will need to file the reconsideration request in writing. Within the request, you need to include the reason that you are asking for a hearing to have your denial overturned. The request will be processed by the SSA and a hearing will be scheduled for you before an administrative law judge. 

A Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge

When the request for reconsideration of your claim is received by the SSA, they will schedule you a hearing date. At the hearing, you or your attorney will be able to speak with the administrative law judge assigned to your case. You can give the specific reasons you believe your denial should be overturned, and you can show any documentation from your physicians that will back up your claims. You can also provide any information that you have obtained since you first made your application with the SSA for SSDI benefits.

A Hearing Before the Appeals Council

If the administrative law judge agrees with your SSDI claim denial, then you can request that your case is heard before the SSA's appeals council. This special group of people will listen to the details of your case and review all of your documentation to make their own determination about the status of your application. Just as with your appeals hearing with the administrative law judge, you can present any new information about your case before the appeals council as well. 

A Lawsuit in the Federal District Court System

Finally, if your hearing before the law judge and the appeals council are not successful, then you have the legal right to file a lawsuit against the SSA to obtain your SSDI benefits. Your SSDI attorney will need to file your case in the federal district court in your local area. The court system is your final option for appealing your SSDI denial. Thankfully, most applications are approved before this step is necessary.