Learning that your request for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits has been denied can be devastating. However, you may be able to challenge this denial of benefits. In fact, there are four stages of an SSDI appeal that might help you get the SSDI benefits you need.
1st Stage of an SSDI Appeal
The Social Security Administration (SSA) denies roughly 65% of SSDI claims. If you received a denial letter, you are not alone. Talk to your attorney as soon as you learn your claim will not be approved. Then, you may proceed to the first level of appeal: the Request for Reconsideration.
The method of appealing at the first level differs depending on the reason for the rejection. Denials based on medical reasons can be appealed by filing the following documents:
- Form SSA-561, Request for Reconsideration;
and the next two documents only if you were denied for medical reasons:
- Form SSA-3441, Disability Report – Appeal; and
- Form SSA-827, Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration.
An individual who receives another denial of benefits may move to the next step.
2nd Stage of an SSDI Appeal
Someone whose request for reconsideration was not approved can ask for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). About 50% of appeals are granted at this stage.
However, if the ALJ denies your appeal, you have two more options.
3rd Stage of an SSDI Appeal
The next level of appeal is the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council (the “Council”). When a case comes before the Council, it may be dismissed or denied without a review or hearing. In fact, many appeals do not make it past this stage.
However, a case has to go through the first three appeal stages to get to the final stage.
4th Stage of an SSDI Appeal
If you still feel you should receive SSDI benefits, you can appeal to a United States District Court. This step involves filing a petition with the Clerk, who assigns your case to a federal judge.
It is unlikely that the judge will completely reverse the SSA’s denial of benefits at this point. What is likely to happen is that the judge will send your case back to the SSA for reconsideration.
If Your Claim Was Denied, You Are Not Alone
Many first-time claims are denied. When going through the appeal process, it helps to have someone in your corner. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have the experience and ability to take on your case. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. We assist clients throughout Southern California from our home office in Anaheim.