Maria and Tom’s finances were devastated when Maria could no longer work due to her disability. They applied for Social Security Disability Insurance to partially cover her former income. When Maria received an SSDI denial notice, though, they wondered, “What now?”
SSDI Denial Process
Social Security Disability Insurance benefits may be denied for a number of reasons. The end result is the same, however – a disabled person and family are left with no support.
People who are denied benefits really have three options:
- Give up,
- Start over or file for a different type of benefit, or
Most people should appeal. About 65% of disability claims are denied at the first level, so it makes sense to try an appeal.
Request for Reconsideration
This is the first level of appeal.
If denied for medical reasons, you can appeal online or by using Form SSA-561, Request for Reconsideration. You’ll also need to submit two other forms:
- Form SSA-3441, Disability Report – Appeal; and
- Form SSA-827, Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration.
To appeal a denial for non-medical reasons, you also can appeal online or by using Form SSA-561, Request for Reconsideration. The two other forms mentioned above are not required.
If your claim is denied at this stage, you still may have options.
Administrative Law Judge Hearing
The next step is to request a hearing before an administrative law judge. On average, appeals are granted about 50% of the time.
If your claim was denied again, consider asking for a review by the Appeals Council. At this stage, the Council can review your case or dismiss your case without a review. Most appeals to the Council are denied or dismissed. However, applicants must go through this step to get to the next one.
Federal Court Review
If you still feel you are disabled, it’s time to go to court. You can file a lawsuit in U. S. District court asking a federal judge to review your case. By the way, if you have not used an attorney during your application and appeal, you should hire one now.
A federal judge is not likely to reverse your denial. However, the judge may send your case back to the Social Security Administration for further review.
Don’t Accept Your Denial as the Final Answer.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience in the legal field. Much of their work involves Social Security disability cases. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.