You may have heard it said that most Social Security Disability (SSDI) applications are denied the first time through, and this is true. Denials are so common that you really shouldn’t be all that concerned. Almost everyone has to appeal the initial decision.
After all, denials are often for minor reasons. Say that you didn’t properly fill out the forms. When you get denied, it can feel like they’re telling you that you don’t qualify for benefits. But what they’re really telling you is that you need to fix the paperwork so that they can determine if you qualify for benefits or not.
Other common reasons for denials include the failure of one or more doctors to supply your medical records for review, or doctors who refuse to fill out necessary forms that speak to your limitations. Without that information, the Social Security Administration often can’t justify approving a claim.
Different levels of appeals for disability denials
Because of this, there are four different types of appeals that can be used, depending on where you are in the process and why you need the appeal in the first place. These levels are:
- Asking for a reconsideration of your case
- Setting up a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
- Asking for a review from the Appeals Council
- Setting up a federal court review
Any one of these can be complicated, and it’s clear that you have a lot hanging in the balance. You need your appeal to go well so that you can get the benefits required for your future. Make sure you are well aware of the legal options you have and what steps you’ll need to take to improve your chances of approval. Working with an experienced advocate can help you overcome denials more easily.