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How do I appeal my SSD claim?

There are a number of reasons a Social Security disability claim may be denied; some of those were discussed in last week's post. Though it may seem frustrating at the time and it may seem like the end of the road, that is not the case-the Social Security Administration provides several levels of appeals for denied claims.

It is important to keep in mind that there is a 60 day time limit to file the appeal and the time starts from the date the denial letter is received by the applicant. The SSA assumes the denial letter is received within five days of posting it, and the clock starts from then. The appeal must be requested in writing or can even be done online. There are a number of levels for appealing a decision, and Indiana also offers a reconsideration of a claim.

A reconsideration is basically a review of the whole case by someone in the SSA who was not part of the original decision. The SSA will send a letter explaining its decision and, if the applicant does not agree with it, they can ask for a hearing. The administrative law judge hearing the case will be someone who had no part in the first two stages of the decision making. The applicant may be asked for additional information before the hearing takes place and, during the hearing, the judge may ask questions of the applicant and any accompanying witnesses. If the applicant is still not satisfied, they may ask for a review from the Social Security Appeals Council and, lastly, in a federal court.

Appealing the decision is an individual's right and one they should avail themselves of. During an appeal, the applicant may introduce new evidence and documentation to further their case. Since the process can be daunting, it may be beneficial to consult someone familiar with the legal process to help with SSD claims.

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The Law Office of Nick Stein

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