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When you submit an application for Social Security Disability Insurance in California and receive a denial after doing so, you may feel valid frustration. However, recognize that many people receive denials in response to their original applications only to find success at a later date after navigating the appeals process.

According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, the SSDI appeals process gives you a way to appeal the administration’s decision to deny your claim for benefits. There are four specific stages in the SSDI appeals process, and more information on each is below.

1. Reconsideration

After the SSA denies your SSDI application you may request a reconsideration. In doing so, you ask someone who did not deny your initial claim to take a second look to determine if both parties reach the same conclusion.

2. Administrative law judge hearing

If the reconsideration stage gets you nowhere, you may ask for a hearing with an administrative law judge. The hearing may take place somewhere near your home, or in some cases, it may occur electronically.

3. Appeals council review

If the administrative law judge also denies your claim, you have the option of asking for a review by the appeals council. The council may or may not decide to hear your case.

4. Federal court review

If all other options fail, you have the option of filing a civil suit within a federal court. This is your final chance at securing approval for SSDI benefits.

There are time limits when it comes to how long you have to initiate your appeal, so be sure to file yours within 60 days of the SSA denying your original application.

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