Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a needs-based disability program that is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Like Social Security Disability (SSD), the application process can be complicated and the denial rates on claims are high.
Fortunately, you’re not without options if your initial application for benefits is denied. Here’s how the appeals process works:
There are four types of appeals for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims
You have more than one chance to appeal the decision about your SSI. You can appeal things like the determination of your onset date (when your disability started), the determination of your financial eligibility for benefits and other issues, but the most common appeal is over entitlement to benefits as a whole. The four types of appeals include:
- Reconsideration: Similar to an initial claim, this step walks you through an updated application designed to capture any missing or new medical information. Once submitted, a new person will review your application and make an independent decision.
- Administrative appeal: Called a hearing, an administrative law judge (ALJ) reviews your case to make a determination — and you are given the opportunity for an actual hearing with the decision-maker in your case.
- Appeals Council appeal: The Appeals Council can either make a decision on your claim or send it back for further review by the ALJ.
- Federal Court review: These are unusual, but they do happen. These are actual court cases and can be very involved.
You must have a valid reason for appealing the decision. You’ll have to outline the medical or non-medical reason when you file the appeal. Making sure that this is accurate and that you’ve submitted everything to show why your appeal should be successful.
Anyone who has been denied the SSI benefits they need should act quickly. Working with an attorney who’s familiar with these cases is beneficial since they can double-check everything and ensure that you have it all in order.