A Social Security Disability appeal could overturn a denied claim

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2024 | Social Security Disability

If a Florida resident is injured, ill or has a condition that prevents them from working and in need of medical care, Social Security Disability benefits can be critical. However, when they apply, there is a chance that claim will be denied. Often, the applicant is discouraged and gives up. That can be a mistake.

Simply because the application was denied does not mean the person does not warrant benefits. There could have been a clerical misstep, the Disability Determination Services could have erroneously denied the claim, or the applicant might need to provide more evidence to justify an approval. No matter the reason, it is essential to understand how to appeal to try and reach the desired outcome or receiving benefits.

Know the four levels of appeal

There are four levels of appeal for a denied Social Security Disability application. First, the applicant can ask for reconsideration. The case will be reviewed in its entirety by a person who had no role in the initial application and denial. A benefit of reconsideration is that the applicant can add evidence that can help them prove they should get approved for benefits.

Should the reconsideration result in another denial, the next step is an administrative law judge review. Known as an ALJ, this individual will not have taken part in the first phase of the application process nor will they have been part of the reconsideration. The ALJ can also deny the claim. In the hearing, the ALJ will analyze the case, explain the issues and can question the applicant and their witnesses. Medical experts and others can give testimony in support of the claim.

The ALJ can also deny the claim. For the applicant, the next option is to request a review by the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council is not required to hear the appeal. It can deny or dismiss it. If it does agree to hear the appeal, it can give a decision on its own or send it to an ALJ. There is a chance it could agree with the prior determination.

The last line of appeal is filing a lawsuit in federal court. This is a civil action filed where the applicant lives. If the federal court case is not successful, then the case is over and the claim has been denied.

Disability benefits can be approved even after a denial

It is natural to be fearful and wonder what the future holds after a denied disability claim. Despite that, Social Security Administration strives to ensure people are treated fairly. If they should get benefits, they are wise to continue trying to get them.

When considering an appeal, a fundamental fact to remember is that there are time limits to do so. It must be done within 60 days of receiving the decision. Failing to meet that requirement would mean that the person must show there was a good reason they missed the deadline.

Since these cases are complicated and people might have made a mistake in the application process, it is imperative to know how to adhere to the rules and avoid a denied claim because of a lack of information or other error. At every stage, it is possible to have the denial reversed and get benefits. Knowing the application and appeals protocol can be beneficial to having a good chance at an approval and receiving the necessary Social Security Disability benefits.


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