Unfortunately, there are complex application processes associated with applying for either disability benefits or Supplement Security Income. Fortunately, the process of applying for Social Security disability or SSD benefits provides several levels of appeal when a disabled individual has been turned down for benefits. Understanding the process step-by-step can help it proceed more smoothly and can lead to a more successful outcome for applicants.
In general, to be eligible to receive SSD benefits, applicants must be unable to work because of a severe disability that is expected to last longer than 12 months or result in death. The application process begins with an initial application, which includes medical records concerning the physical or mental medical condition being claimed. Once submitted, the claim is reviewed and may be approved or denied for benefits. Most initial claims for SSD benefits are denied, so it is important for applicants not be discouraged but rather become familiar with the appeals portion of the process.
If the application for SSD benefits has been denied, the initial level of appeal is a request for reconsideration and all additional medical records can be supplied. If the claim remains denied after it has received a fresh review, the next level of appeal available is a hearing before a judge. It is important for the applicant to be prepared beforehand for this phase of the process. Additional appeals options, including an appeal in federal court, are possible so it is important to be familiar with all the appeals options available and how to exhaust them.
Social Security disability benefits are a vital lifeline for many disabled individuals and their families. As a result, it is useful for them to understand eligibility requirements, the application process, the appeals process and trained guidance can help them navigate the process to obtain important disability benefits.