Do you have to appeal your SSD Claim over and over?
Here's a recent statement from someone who was obviously exasperated: "You have to appeal again and again before someone from SSD takes a look".
Is this statement true? Not really. Many people who file for disability do find themselves in the position of having to appeal over and over. But "over and over" is a little subjective. This is how it works for most people.
1. They file for disability and get denied on their initial claim.
2. They file a request for reconsideration appeal and usually get denied on this as well.
3. They file their second appeal, a request for a hearing before an administrative law judge, and if they have representation, have a better than 60 percent chance of winning and being awarded disability benefits.
Obviously, this entire process, for most claimants, involves a number of appeals. Still, some individuals do more appeals than others.
Sometimes this is because the case went to a hearing and was denied by an administrative law judge, prompting the third appeal, a request for a review of the judge's decision by the appeals council. If this appeal does not result in a reversal or a remand of the case (where it is sent back to the hearing office for a second hearing), the claimant may later find that their case will be involved in the fourth appeal step which is federal district court.
Appeals are part and parcel of the disability claim system simply because the majority of all individuals who apply for disability are denied at the initial claim level and are usually denied at the request for reconsideration level as well.
However, is the statement true that you have to "appeal again and again before someone from SSD actually takes a look at your case?". No, and that is because at each step of the process (initial disability application, request for reconsideration, social security disability hearing, etc), your case is evaluated on the basis of your medical evidence and the vocational factors that pertain to your case, such as your age, education, functional capacity, and the demands and skill levels of the work that you have performed in the past.
Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog
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