If you have been denied social security disability claim: what’s next? If you are legitimately injured or disabled and feel you have been unjustly denied your social security disability benefits, your first step will be to appeal the ruling. Appeals can be lengthy processes, so you will want to file it as quickly as possible. Pursuing an appeal on denied social security disability benefits can be complicated, which is where getting SSD legal help comes in. Legal representation can help you get the benefits you need and deserve.
Three-Step Appeal Process
While legal appeal procedures vary somewhat from state to state, generally, the appeal process falls into three steps.
Step One: Requesting a Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge
After a SSD claim denial, the first step is to file a request for a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). This is considered the most important part of the appeals process as it is where most claims are won. Your request for a hearing will have to be in writing or made online at the SSA.gov website. Your request will lead to you having to provide additional information regarding your disability. The hearing is an opportunity for you to present the evidence that proves you have a serious medical condition that is preventing you from working, which is why you are need of the SSD benefits.
Step Two: Appeals Council
If your claim is denied by the ALJ, the next step in the appeals process is to the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council. This step does not involve a personal appearance; it simply involves the Council reviewing your file and the decision of the ALJ. The Appeals Council will review your request for review. The council will consider if the judge made a mistake, and you are allowed to submit new pertinent medical or vocational information that will support your claim. There are three possible outcomes from the Appeals Council: deny the appeal outright, reverse the ALJ’s decision, or send the claim back to the ALJ for another hearing.
Step Three: Appeal to the Federal District Court
If your claim is denied by both the ALJ and the Appeals Council, there is one recourse of action left available to you: appeal the ruling to the federal district court. In order to officially appeal the Appeals Council’s decision, you will have to file a civil complaint. You are the plaintiff in the case, and the defendant is the Commissioner of the SSA. If you have not already done so, this is where the help of an attorney experienced in federal court petitions should be sought out.