What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
What is the process to file a Social Security Disability appeal?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
If you have received a decisional denial letter on your social security disability or SSI claim from Social Security, you must contact Social Security to file a disability appeal within the sixty-day appeal process. You are allowed five additional days for mailing, so the actual appeal timeframe for appealing a denied disability claim is sixty-five days.
The social security disability appeal process involves four levels, which are as follows: request for reconsideration, the disability hearing request, the Appeals Council review, and Federal District Court. A large percentage of claimants are lucky enough to have their case finally approved when it is presented before an administrative law judge at the hearing level. But, nonetheless, roughly half of all cases heard by ALJs are denied.
If you are denied by an ALJ, you should apply for a new initial social security disability or SSI claim. You may also request that the appeals council in Falls Church Virginia review the decision of the judge in your case. However, the appeals council rarely overturns judge's decisions and for this reason you should file your new claim and your request for an appeals council review simultaneously.
Starting the process to file a social security disability appeal is simple. Simply contact the social security administration and request the appeal. SSA will then send you your paperwork. If you are represented by a social security attorney, your attorney will do all of this for you.
Timeliness, of course, is key. If you do not have your appeal paperwork turned in to the social security office by the formal deadline, and do not have good cause for a late appeal (such as illness, infirmity, or very extenuating family circumstances), you will be forced to begin the process from scratch.
Is the process for evaluating a social security disability or SSI disability appeal substantially different than evaluating an initial disability application? Answer: it depends. The first appeal, the request for reconsideration, is nearly indistinguishable from the disability application. The reconsideration appeal is handled by the same agency that processes the initial claim, only this time a different disability examiner is assigned to the case.
The second appeal in the system, however, is markedly different from everything that has happened at earlier levels of the system, including the reconsideration appeal. This appeal, the request for hearing before an administrative law judge, involves a face-to-face meeting between the claimant, a federal administrative law judge, and, if the claimant is represented, a disability lawyer.
At the hearing, the claimant may be asked questions regarding their functional restrictions and prior work history. They may also present information of a medical or vocational (work-related) nature to the judge which was not previously considered by the social security administration.
Because claimants may be represented at hearings by qualified representatives and because the entire nature of a non-adversarial hearing is inherently different than the process employed by the social security administration at the initial claim and reconsideration levels, most represented individuals manage to win their cases at hearings.
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Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials