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The 4 levels of the SSDI appeals process

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2021 | SSDI

You may feel understandable frustration if you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance in Florida and the U.S. Social Security Administration sends a denial in response. However, before you give up, recognize that many people facing similar circumstances wind up having their applications approved after taking certain steps in the appeals process.

According to the SSA, you have 60 days from the day you receive your claim denial to file a formal appeal. The appeals process has four distinct levels, and each works a bit differently.

Level 1: Reconsideration

As the name implies, the first step in the SSDI appeals process has someone who had no part in denying your initial application take a second look at it to see if he or she comes to the same conclusion.

Level 2: Hearing before an administrative law judge

When the first step in the appeals process fails to produce the results you want, you may need to ask for a hearing with an administrative law judge. The hearing may take place online or via video, or it may take place at a location within a reasonable distance from your Florida home.

Level 3: Review by the appeals council

If the hearing does not result in you receiving approval for benefits, the next step in the SSDI appeals process sees you ask for a review by the appeals council. The appeals council may or may not decide to take on your case.

Level 4: Review by a federal court

The fourth level of the SSDI appeals process involves you having your application reviewed by a federal court.

You may be able to strengthen your case for SSDI by securing legal representation and, in some cases, a supportive statement from your physician dictating why you need this type of help.