Applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) can be tedious and take a long time to complete. When you’ve been injured or have fallen ill and need an income, it can be hard to wait out the application process.
It can be even more frustrating if you’ve filed the paperwork, met the deadlines, and received a letter of denial. While many things can factor into an SSD application denial, it might not be the end of the road once you receive it. You can take a few steps to have your case heard again.
There are multiple levels of appeal
Your initial determination letter only lets you know what the Social Security Administration decided based on the documentation you sent. You could be missing medical information or just need to provide additional documentation.
Still, suppose you got that first letter denying benefits. In that case, your next steps may be time-sensitive, and taking prompt action is necessary. Here are a few ways to get in front of an initial denial of SSD:
- Ask for a Reconsideration: You can request a reconsideration within 60 days of your denial letter, but doing so sooner may prevent missed payments if you already received them.
- Request a Hearing: An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will review your medical condition and the documentation provided to make a determination. If your reconsideration is denied, this is the next step.
- Take it to an Appeals Court: Perhaps you didn’t get a favorable outcome with the ALJ review and still disagree. In that case, you can request an appeal to oversee the decision.
- Federal Court Review: Requesting a federal review is the final actionable step. It’s uncommon, but it may be important to consider.
If you’ve filed for SSD, received a letter of denial, or are confused about the process, learning more about your legal options can help you get your case approved.