What is the Appeals Process for Social Security Disability?

Social Security

Are you unable to work because of a medical disability? Are you dependent on the income of someone who is unable to work because of a disability?

If so, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits from the US Government. There are over 10 million people in the United States who receive Social Security disability benefits.

However, applying for Social Security Disability is not easy and many people are denied benefits their first time.

If you have been denied benefits, don’t give up. Here are some tips to help you get through the appeals process and begin receiving benefits as quickly as possible.

When to Start the Appeals Process

If the Social Security Administration denies your initial social security disability application, you have the right to appeal. You should begin the appeals process within 60 days of receiving the decision.

You will file a civil complaint with the U.S. District Court in your area. The complaint is a statement explaining your case to the court. If you’re not sure where to file your complaint, use the Federal Court Finder to help you find the proper court for you.

What Is the Appeal Process?

Once you file your complaint, you will receive a summons. Then, you submit a copy of the complaint and the summons to the Social Security Administration. The SSA will then file a response and give you a written explanation of why your claim was denied.

Once you get that response, you file an opening brief. This is a legal document stating the details in this case, your medical evidence, and why you are appealing the denial.

The federal judge will consider this evidence and make a decision. If they agree with your claim, they will override the original decision and you will receive benefits. Or, they may remand the case and send it back to the SSA to be reconsidered.

However, if the judge agrees with the original decision your claim and the appeal will be denied. You do have the option to appeal again, but it becomes more difficult and more expensive each time you do.

Should You Get a Lawyer for A Social Security Disability Appeal?

It is possible for you to file an appeal on your own, without a lawyer. Just be aware of all federal court regulations so you follow the proper procedures and don’t get your case dismissed.

Having an attorney for social security disability appeals and claims can make the process smoother, however. They know the SSA guidelines and can help guide you through all of the requirements. Because they know exactly what information is needed, they may also be able to shorten the amount of time it takes to get a claim or an appeal approved.

Don’t Get Discouraged

Almost 60% of Social Security Disability applications are denied the first time around. Often just because of technical or administrative mistakes on the initial application.

So, if your claim is denied, don’t let that discourage you. Just take the appeals process one step at a time and substantiate your claim to get the decision reversed.

Check out other articles on our blog to learn more about your rights within Social Security and the legal system. 

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