Denied Social Security: How to Appeal

Claimants apply for benefits with the Social Security Administration (SSA) with hopes of getting an approval. But approval of initial claims is slim considering the process involved. More so, when the initial claim is denied, the appeal process is even worse. The good thing, however, is that a claimant is provided with remedy on their denied claims.

Social Security Appeals

The Social Security appeals process enables the claimants to disprove the findings of an examiner by elevating their claims to the administrative law judge or having another examiner reevaluate the claim. When the application for benefits has been denied, the SSA would notify the claimant of its denial. If the claimant does not agree with the findings, he has the legal right to ask for reconsideration or also known as an appeal. In case of an appeal, SSA will take the case in its entirety by considering even the parts that are favorable to the claimant. SSA will either affirm or reverse the examiner’s decision.

Appeal Process

In appealing a denied claim, you are given 60 days to make a written request of your intention to appeal. The 60-day period is reckoned from the receipt of letter given by SSA. The SSA will assume that you receive it 5 days after the stamped date. Otherwise, you will prove the actual date of receipt.

Levels of Appeal

Your appeal will go through different levels. It may be heard or reviewed: 1.   before an administrative law judge; 2.   by the Appeals Council; and 3.   by a federal court. Included in the letter sent to you is the procedure on how to appeal your case and the level where it will be heard.

Who can Help with Social Security Denials?

Claimants may handle their own appeals upon assistance from the Social Security. However, you can seek help from a lawyer, friend or anyone. Whoever you choose to appoint is called your "representative". In most Social Security matters, it is your representative who will act or receive a copy of any decisions regarding your claim. Your representative should render service without collecting fees or charges unless approved in writing by the SSA.

Processes involved in filing a claim are complicated. This is why having a representative to help you with your application or appeal is advised. Social Security lawyers can guide you in appealing your claims.


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