Like many first-time applicants, Jason D.’s claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) was denied. Frustrated by the rejection, Jason and his attorney began the appeal process. Sophia’s problem was a little different. She was approved for SSDI benefits but disagreed with the amount of her benefits. Sophia and her attorney also appealed the SSDI decision. At some point, both Jason and Sophia may reach the Appeals Council step in the appeal process. But what is an appeals council review, and how might it help people appealing an SSDI decision?
The Appeals Process
The average national rate of approval of first-time disability claims is a dismal 36 percent. It’s just not easy to get through the Social Security Administration (SSA) application process. However, rejected applicants don’t have to give up. The appeals process consists of the following steps:
- First is the Request for Reconsideration.
- The second step is to request a hearing before an SSA Administrative Law Judge.
- The third step is to ask the Appeals Council to review your claim.
- The fourth and final step is a federal court review.
Of course, you may not have to go through all four steps to get the benefits you deserve.
The Appeals Council Review
If your claim was denied after hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, you could ask for an Appeals Council Review online or by calling 1-800-772-1213. Keep in mind, however, that you have to appeal within 60 days after you receive the decision on your hearing.
How will the SSA know when you received the request for reconsideration decision? They assume you will receive it within five days after they mailed it. If you miss the deadline to appeal, you’ll have to show good reason for the delay or your appeal will not be heard.
The Appeals Council reviews the decisions of the Administrative Law Judge who heard your appeal. Generally, the Appeals Council may take any of the following actions:
- Deny your request for review because they agree with the Administrative Law Judge’s decision;
- Make a decision – rejection or appeal – based on its review; or
- Return the case to the Administrative Law Judge for further consideration.
Applying for SSDI benefits can be hard. Appealing a rejection is even harder.
Ask a Disability Lawyer
Appealing your SSDI denial can be demoralizing, frustrating, and time-consuming – but necessary. It can help to have someone on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience helping clients like you. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.