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Can someone appeal after an SSDI benefits denial?

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2023 | Social Security Disability

Working individuals in Michigan make numerous payroll tax contributions with every check they earn. They send some money to the state and some to the federal government. There also typically make sizable contributions to the Social Security Administration (SSA), which are withheld from each paycheck.

Many people rely on Social Security to help supplement their personal savings during their retirement years. However, not everyone continues working until they reach retirement age. Some people develop debilitating medical conditions and have to end their careers early. They may then apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits to protect themselves financially during that difficult time.

Someone coping with a denied application for SSDI benefits has certain rights, including the right to an appeal.

There are multiple different stages of appeal

SSDI claim denials are relatively common and sometimes even affect those who have truly debilitating medical conditions. Thankfully, the SSA has a robust and well-established appeals process to protect such people. Applicants need to notify the SSA that they would like to appeal the determination made about their benefits. They can then correct mistakes in their application paperwork or submit supplemental documentation to help show that their condition warrants benefits.

The first appeal stage is a reconsideration. An employee of the SSA not involved in the original determination will review someone’s revised application. They may approve the claim in some cases. If that does not lead to benefits, an applicant could then seek a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. They will have a chance to present evidence supporting their claim that they require benefits because they are unable to work.

There’s also an Appeals Council and the option of taking the matter to the United States District Courts if the initial stages of appeal are not successful. Appeals are often lengthy and may require legal support, especially if an applicant has significant daily medical challenges. Applicants who appeal and win their cases receive not just future payments but also backdated benefits that can help them catch up on their financial obligations after months without income.

Seeking legal guidance and learning more about the rights of those denied SSDI benefits may, therefore, help those worried about their financial future while struggling with a debilitating medical condition.