What Is the Process When I Have Been Wrongfully Turned Down?
You’re suffering an injury or illness that makes it impossible for you to work and meet your financial obligations. You weren’t hurt on the job, so you can file for workers’ compensation, but it’s clear that your injury or illness will keep you from working for quite a while, if not permanently. You filed an application with the Social Security Administration for disability benefits, but your request was denied. Can you appeal that decision? If so, how do you do that?
Can the Denial of a Social Security Disability Claim Be Appealed?
Yes. If the Social Security Administration denies your application for disability benefits, you have 60 days from the date you receive notice of denial to initiate the appeals process. There are four specific avenues of appeal, which must be taken in the following order:
- Reconsideration – You may ask for a reconsideration, regardless of whether you were turned down for a medical or non-medical reason. When the Social Security Administration conducts a reconsideration, it means they will have your entire claim fully reviewed by personnel who did not participate in the initial determination. They will typically accept new evidence as part of a reconsideration. You can ask for the reconsideration online at www.ssa.gov. You can also check the status of your reconsideration online.
- A Hearing by an administrative law judge – If you do not get a favorable outcome as a consequence of the reconsideration, your next step is to request a hearing with an administrative law judge (the judge must be someone who did not participate in the original determination or the reconsideration). Though you can request the hearing online, you may need to travel to the hearing site, which will typically be within 75 miles of your home. Once you’ve requested the hearing, you’ll receive information explaining the process and telling you how you can set up a video hearing, in lieu of an in-person hearing. You can check the status of your request online.
- Request for a review by the Social Security Disability Appeals Council – If you don’t get the outcome you want from the administrative law judge, you can ask for a review of the decision by the Social Security Disability Appeals Council. The Council will review your request, but may deny your request for a review if it is determined that the administrative law judge issued a ruling consistent with the laws and regulations governing Social Security Disability Income.
- Review by a federal judge – If the Appeals Council rejects your appeal, you may petition a federal court to review your claim. To do so, you must file a civil lawsuit in Federal District Court. The federal court may uphold the denial of benefits, reverse the Social Security Administration’s ruling and grant you benefits, or send your case back to the Social Security Administration for further consideration or review.
Contact the Experienced Social Security Disability Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to everyone with a potential Social Security disability claim. To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at 844-402-2992. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.