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Understanding the disability application and appeals processes

Social Security disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are important for many disabled individuals but the process can be complex. Helping to understand the process, however, can make it less intimidating which can be important for many disabled individuals and families approaching the SSD and SSI application process. SSD claims, and how they work, are important to understand.

Understanding the different parts of the SSD and SSI application and appeals process can be helpful for many applicants and their families. Step-by-step guidance can also be useful and the process can sometimes seem complicated, confusing and challenging. Being familiar with the process, however, can help. Applicants must first fill out an initial application and it is helpful to provide complete, thorough and solid medical evidence supporting the claim for benefits that has been carefully prepared.

Applicants should not be alarmed if their application for disability benefits is initially denied, as most are. The appeals process provides resources to help them obtain disability benefits whenever possible. If the application was denied, and many are, the next phase in the process a request for reconsideration which may entail providing additional medical evidence. If the claim is again denied, the next step in the appeals process is an administrative hearing before a judge. It is important to be familiar with what to expect and properly prepare for the hearing. Additional appeals options are possible if the application for benefits is denied during the hearing.

It is important to keep in mind that applicants who have been denied disability benefits are not necessarily ineligible to receive them. Living with a disability can be a complicated journey which is why it is helpful to simplify the disability application and appeals process as much possible to obtain the help disabled individuals and their families need.

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