One of the hardest parts of getting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits involves convincing the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you need those benefits. Many qualified applicants receive a denial at first and only receive the SSDI benefits they need after a length appeals process.
People with terminal and severe medical conditions can find themselves denied even though they clearly meet the criteria necessary to qualify for SSDI. If you know you should receive benefits but the initial evaluation of your application resulted in a denial, you can appeal. Getting the benefits that you need might require you to pursue up to four different types of appeal.
First reconsideration, then a formal hearing
After a denial notice, your appeal could be a quick process. Sometimes, when you review your paperwork and know that you have submitted enough documentation and have not made any major mistakes, all you need is to ask for someone else to review your application.
A reconsideration can be enough to get some people their benefits. If that isn’t successful, the next stage will be a hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ). During this hearing, you can present evidence about your condition to convince the ALJ that you qualify for benefits.
Further appeals are also possible
Even if the ALJ doesn’t rule in your favor, you still have options available to you. You can request a review by the Appeals Council. They might decide on the issue or send you to an ALJ for additional consideration. If even that isn’t successful, a federal court review could help.
Appeals can take time, but they can also help you get the benefits that you need to take care of yourself and your family. The sooner you start the process, the sooner you could potentially receive an approval for your SSDI claim.