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Five Levels of SSD Appeals

The Five Levels of SSD Appeals

If your claim for Social Security Disability was denied, you can appeal the decision. There are several stages of appeals throughout the Social Security process to ensure that a Social Security Disability (SSD) applicant has had adequate opportunities to have their claim analyzed. Generally, there is a 60-day window after notification of denial to request an appeal of the previous decision. An SSD lawyer may be able to improve your chances of success in a Social Security appeal. The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC has handled countless SSD cases in Dallas and understands the appeals process.

About the 5 Stages of Social Security Disability Appeals

Filing a Request to Reconsider an Initial SSD Claim Decision

If your first application was denied, you can request an appeal of the decision. The denial letter you receive contains details of your ability to seek an appeal. The reconsideration is a thorough analysis of your SSD claim by people who were not involved in the initial decision to deny.

Filing a Request to Reconsider an Ongoing Disability Claim

After your claim is approved and you start getting disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will occasionally reevaluate your case. This periodic examination is called the continuing disability review process. If the SSA determines that your condition has improved enough that you are able to work, your benefits may end. There are also other reasons that the SSA may end benefits after their review, including non-cooperation by the person receiving benefits.

If the SSA has ended your benefits, you can appeal the decision through reconsideration. Through reconsideration, you can get a hearing in front of a disability hearing officer and a review of your claim by people who were not involved in the decision to end benefits.

Hearing with an Administrative Law Judge

If your reconsideration request for an initial decision or ongoing claim ends in a denial, you can appeal that decision by requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge. The administrative law judge is a person who was not involved in your case's previous decisions.

Appeals Council Review

If the administrative law judge denied your claim, you can ask for a review for their decision before the Social Security Appeals Council. There is no guarantee of a review before the appeals council, and the council can choose to either grant or deny your review request. If the council agrees with the previous decision, it may deny your request.

In the event that the appeals council grants your review request, it can choose to:

  • Conduct the review itself
  • Return the case to the administrative law judge for further examination

The appeals council is very selective in the decisions that it decides to take, and it overturns decisions rarely. However, it is necessary to pursue this review before moving onto the final appeal.

Federal Court Lawsuit

If the appeals council denied your claim or did not review your case, you can decide to file a lawsuit in a federal district court and let a federal judge hear your case. This is a time-intensive and expensive option, and very few people ever reach this stage. Unlike many federal cases involving a judge, these disability cases do not have a jury. The federal judge can overturn previous decisions if he finds that there was an error in judgment.

Do You Want to Appeal a Social Security Denial?

At The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC, our Dallas SSD attorneys have represented numerous SSD cases, including appeals. Our attorneys are willing to handle cases at all stages of the appeals process.

Contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today for a consultation about your SSD case.