It can take a lot of effort to put together an application for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. You have to fill out paperwork and gather medical documentation. Whether you just got diagnosed with a medical condition or suffered a massive injury in a car crash, you probably need those benefits because you don’t have any income anymore.
Unfortunately, even qualified applicants can receive a rejection notice for an SSD benefits claim. Rather than panicking when that happens to you, it’s important that you realize that you still have the right to appeal.
The appeals process involves multiple stages
There are many reasons why the Social Security Administration (SSA) might reject your application, so different applications fail for different reasons.
For example, many people fail to include adequate medical documentation. They need more records from their doctor before they can move forward with the claim. Sometimes, the issue is that the SSA employee who reviewed their application did not think the issue was serious enough. In those situations, a reconsideration request, which is the first stage of the appeals process, could get someone the benefits they need.
Other times, when reconsideration doesn’t work, an applicant may need to request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. During that hearing, they can present more evidence, a step that can be very valuable to those whose initial paperwork failed to demonstrate the severity of their medical conditions.
Understanding your right to an appeal could help you get the motivation you need to keep pushing for SSD benefits after an initial rejection.