When applying for Social Security disability coverage, you must be prepared for your claim to be denied. In this case, you can launch an appeal to ask that your claim is given further scrutiny to determine its merit. The appeals process can be very meticulous, so it’s important that you understand what will occur so you can take the proper steps to prepare your case. The Social Security Administration offers the following information on appeals.
There are actually four levels to the appeal process, each of which will review your claim to make a determination on its validity. The first level is reconsideration. This entails a new review of the evidence regarding your disability by a person who was not involved in the initial review. Reconsideration may also occur if you’re told that your benefits are being revoked due to an improvement of your medical condition. Once the reconsideration process is complete, you’ll receive a decision on your case.
If your claim is still denied, the next step in the process is the hearing. Much like other types of hearings, your case will be presided over by a judge, who will review existing and new evidence you present to support your claim. You’ll also be questioned, along with any witnesses you choose to bring. If you’re unable to attend the hearing due to your medical condition, you may be able to attend remotely or the hearing may be held without you being present. If your claim is still denied, you move to the third step, which is the appeals council.
The appeals council may deny your request, make a decision, or send the case back to court, where it will be presided over by a different judge than the one who was present for your first hearing. The final step in the appeal process is to take the claim to a federal district court. During the process, you may consult legal assistance to help with your appeal. In fact, your chance of receiving a successful decision is much better with an attorney by your side.