It can be hard to recover from rejection. When a government program like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) rejects your application and tells you you don’t qualify for benefits, you may feel like giving up. After all, applying for SSDI is often a last resort for modern workers.
Only when it is clear they can’t keep working and don’t have enough set aside to support themselves indefinitely do they apply for benefits. They may have already been off of work for months of that point. Sadly, the Social Security Administration (SSA) seems to prefer to err on the side of rejecting valid claims rather than risking the approval of questionable disability claims.
It is common for people unable to work to struggle to get benefits when they initially apply. Many people at first get denied SSDI benefits, only to eventually connect with them when they appeal the initial decision.
You have multiple levels of appeal available
Appealing for SSDI benefits doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go to court. There are four distinct stages of appeal available. The first is requesting a reconsideration.
If you believe that the issue was a misunderstanding and that a different employee would have a different response to your application, a reconsideration may be all that is necessary. The SSA can assign someone else to look over your claim and possibly approve it.
However, when there are major omitted details that might help clarify the matter, the second stage of appeal can also be useful. Applicants denied benefits have the right to request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. They can present evidence about their condition and its impact on their lives and their work at that hearing.
Even if the hearing isn’t successful, applicants can still request a review by the Appeals Council. If the Appeals Council doesn’t side with an applicant, they can still ask for a review of their application by the federal courts. Each of these four stages gives you an opportunity to get the benefits you need because of your medical condition.
Knowing the various stages of appeal can help give you the motivation you need to get benefits after the SSA denies your benefits.