If you face denial of Social Security benefits for your disability, you may not have to accept the rejection. There is an appeals process.
The Social Security Administration explains the four stages of the appeals process as reconsideration, administrative law judge hearing, Appeals Council reviewal and a reviewal by the Federal Court.
If you applied for disability but had it denied, then you can appeal online. To request reconsideration, you request a review of your claim. The person who does the reconsideration cannot be involved with your first determination. The case requires new eyes. You can submit new evidence with the appeal.
An administrative law judge will conduct your hearing. This is a judge who had no involvement in your first determination. The judge typically holds the hearing within 75 miles of your home for the sake of convenience.
You will receive a package that describes the process of the hearing to prepare you. You will receive a form that allows you to opt-out of video hearings. If you are uncomfortable on video, you need to submit that form so that you do not have a video hearing. Otherwise, you may have your hearing via video.
The next stage of appeal is to go through the Appeals Council. The council reviews the judge’s determination. The council may return the case to the administrative judge or make a decision themselves.
If you do not approve of the Appeals Council’s decision, you can file a civil suit with the federal district court as the final stage of the process.