Many disabled individuals in Kissimmee are unable to work and may reach a point where they do not know how they will take care of their medical and living expenses, with little to no income. For many, the answer may come in the form of Social Security disability benefits. You have to apply for SSD benefits and meet certain criteria to qualify. So, what can you do if you believe you qualify for benefits, but your application is denied? Fortunately, there is a four-level appeals process for people who find themselves in just such a situation.
Step 1: Reconsideration
The first level of appeal is called “reconsideration.” A disability examiner who was not involved in the initial determination will review your claim taking all submitted evidence and any new evidence into consideration, and then will issue a decision either approving or denying your claim.
Step 2: Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge
If you claim is denied at reconsideration, the next step is to have a hearing with an administrative law judge who was not involved in your initial claim or reconsideration. Hearings can be conducted online if necessary. The ALJ will examine all evidence and will issue a decision either approving or denying your claim. You may have an attorney present at the hearing.
Step 3: Appeals Council review
If the ALJ denies your claim, the next step is to have your claim reviewed by the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council will review your claim, and then either issue a decision or send your claim to an ALJ for further review.
Step 4: Federal Court review
If the Appeals Council denies your claim, the final level of appeal is to file a civil suit in a federal district court in the judicial district in which you live. An attorney can assist with this process.
Seek help if you need to appeal a denied claim
At any of these steps, you can seek the advice of an attorney, who can guide you through the process and advocate on your behalf. This post does not contain legal advice. Those in Kissimmee who have been denied SSD benefits and want to appeal should seek the help they need to make informed decisions moving forward.
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