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What is the SSD appeals process?

No one expect to suffer an injury or develop an illness or condition. However, such events could plague individuals in Ohio and elsewhere. And when injuries and illnesses stem from the work place, this could make it difficult to continue working. In fact, if an injury or condition is debilitating, it could be impossible to work. While this means the individual is able to take the time to recover and possibly return to their normal life, it also means no longer making an income. Thus, living with a disability can be financially disabling as well as physically and mentally debilitating.

Applying for Social Security disability benefits is a step often taken by those living with disabilities; however, applying for these benefits does not guarantee approval. In fact, many applicants are initially denied benefits. Nonetheless, applicants should understand that a denial is not the end of the road. Reconsideration and appealing the decision is possible.

What is the SSD appeals process? There are four levels in the appeals process. The first is reconsideration, which is a complete review of the claim by someone who did not take part in the first decision. The next step of the appeals process is to request a hearing by an administrative law judge. This step allows an applicant to provide more evidence and information, helping them obtain a favorable outcome.

If an applicant does not agree with this outcome, he or she can move on to the third step of the appeals process, which is requesting a review by the appeals council. At this point, the council will either decide to review the claim or not. If a review is conducted, the council could make a decision on its own or decide to send the case back to the administrative law judge to conduct further review. And if a favorable decision does not result, an applicant could take the fourth a final step with is a federal court review.

While it is never easy facing a denial of any claim, a denied SSD claim could put an individual in a difficult predicament. Therefore, it is important to note the rights and options afforded to applicants. This means taking the time to consider the appeals process and how to best navigate through it.

Source: Ssa.gov, "The Appeals Process," accessed Dec. 18, 2017

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