The Four Levels of Appealing a Denied Social Security Disability Claim

Despite your best efforts, there’s still a fifty-fifty chance that your application for social security disability (SSD) can get denied. Don’t be disheartened, however, if your initial move to make a claim is disapproved by the Social Security Administration (SSA). In fact, it is said that the chances of getting approved for SSD benefits increase for those who file an appeal.

Three Levels of Appealing a Denied Claim

Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge

If your request for application for social security disability benefits is denied and you wish to appeal, you must to request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) within 60 days upon receiving the notice of denial. Take note that approximately 67% of claims that reach ALJs are granted.

Going to the Appeals Council

If you fall under the 33% of claims denied by the ALJs, you may request for a review with the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council, however, has the absolute discretion to deny, dismiss, or grant your request for a review. Generally, members of the Appeals Council look for flaws or lapses in the ALJ decision before approving a review. One’s chance of winning at this level is only 2 to 3 per cent.

Appeal to the Federal Court

Finally, when all other levels of appeal have been exhausted, you may need to file a lawsuit in the U.S. district court. You’ll have to hire a lawyer who can represent you in court and advise you throughout the entire process. Since suing the SSA can be time-consuming and expensive, it is noted that less than 1% of disability claimants actually take their cases to court.

Source:
Appeal a Decision, SSA.gov

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