Applying for Social Security disability benefits can present challenges. Unfortunately, Social Security denies many applicants benefits, even those with a legitimate claim.
If Social Security has denied your disability application, it is important to know your options. This article will discuss the four levels of appeal available for a Social Security denial.
The first level of appeal is reconsideration. At this level, a new reviewer will take a fresh look at your case and make a new decision. You must request a reconsideration within 60 days of receiving the denial letter. You should note that the likelihood of success at this level of appeal is relatively low, as the same agency that denied your initial claim will review it again.
If Social Security denies your claim at the reconsideration level, you may request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). The ALJ will hear your case and make a decision. Hearings typically take place in person, but you may also do them via video or telephone. During the hearing, you can present evidence and testimony to support your claim.
3. Appeals council review
If you disagree with the ALJ’s decision, you can request a review by the Social Security Appeals Council. The Appeals Council will review your case and decide whether to grant your request for review. If the Appeals Council decides to review your case, it will either make a decision on its own or send it back to an ALJ for further review. It is crucial to understand that the Appeals Council can deny your request for review, leaving the ALJ’s decision to stand.
4. Federal court
If Social Security denies your appeal after the Appeals Council review, you can file a lawsuit in federal court. This is the final level of appeal for Social Security disability claims. Filing a lawsuit can be a complex and expensive process, so it is important to seek guidance.
If your disability application gets denied, you can request an appeal at each level. With the right support, you may be able to overturn a Social Security denial and receive the benefits you need.