If your application is denied, do not give up, you can still be awarded benefits through the appeals process.
You will find that applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be a long complicated process. Unfortunately, when you apply for disability, your application is probably going to be denied. Only about 30% of applications for disability are approved. If your application is denied, do not give up, you can still be awarded benefits through the appeals process. We have helped thousands of people just like you win their disability cases.
Generally, there are four levels in the appeals process. They are:
- Hearing by an administrative law judge
- Review by the Appeals Council
- Federal Court review
When your application is denied, the first step in the appeals process is called a reconsideration appeal. This means that your claim is sent back to Disability Determination Services (DDS) for another look. Most reconsideration appeals are unsuccessful and the claim is still denied.
If your reconsideration appeal is denied, the next step in the appeals process is for you to request a hearing with an administrative law judge.
If the judge at your disability hearing denies your claim, your next course of action is to request an Appeals Council review. You will have 60 days after receiving your hearing decision to request an Appeal Council review.
The Appeals Council will look at your request and do one of 3 things:
- Deny your request (if the Council believes that your hearing decision was correct)
- Overturn the judges’ decision
- Remand your case back to a judge for further review
Most decisions from an Administrative Law Judge that are brought before the Appeals Council are denied. Very rarely will the Appeals Council overturn the judge’s decision. It is possible that your case might get remanded. A remand is when your claim is sent back for a second hearing, on the grounds that the Administrative Law Judge made a technical error, failed to consider medical evidence, or reached an improper conclusion.
If you disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision you would then have to go to the last level of the appeals process which would be to file a civil suit in a federal district court.