When you have a disabling medical condition, your whole life changes. You may go from a thriving professional to someone unable to work at all. You may also find yourself dependent on the help of others for your daily needs. Despite having always been financially responsible, your budget may no longer balance, and your entire household could struggle.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can help those with serious and long-lasting medical conditions who cannot work or otherwise provide for their families. Provided that the condition is severe enough and will last at least a year, if not the rest of your life, you may be able to receive SSDI benefits.
Getting benefits can be a difficult process, in part because even qualified applicants sometimes get denied at first. What happens to you if the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies your first application for SSDI benefits?
Every applicant has the right to an appeal
Those who process SSDI applications make mistakes. Applicants can also overlook details that impact their claim. Missing medical information or paperwork mistakes can result in the rejection of an otherwise valid claim.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to start the process over again. Instead, you have the right to file an appeal. An appeal will mean that you get more careful consideration and also that you have an opportunity to correct any mistakes or omissions in your first application. Finally, an appeal protects your right to potentially collect backdated benefits to the date when you first applied or qualified.
What does an SSDI appeal involve?
There are several different levels of appeal available to denied applicants. The first is to request that someone review the application a second time. Sometimes, that’s all that is necessary. Many other people get their benefits after a hearing with an administrative law judge.
Even those who don’t succeed in court might be able to appeal beyond that decision. They can ask for review by the Appeals Council or even take the issue all the way to Federal Court. Getting help with your appeal, especially if mistakes or oversights led to your denial, can greatly increase your chances of getting the benefits you need.