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What’s the process for appealing denied SSDI claims?

If an injury or health condition keeps you from work for at least a year, you may qualify for financial assistance through Social Security. To qualify for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), you must have worked recently enough before the injury and have earned the minimum number of credits required for your age group.

According to Forbes, the Disability Determination department only approves an average of 37% of cases from the initial application. Understanding the appeal process may help you move your claim forward if your application gets denied.

Complete the application

A detailed application is the first step in the SSDI process. The forms require you to provide information about your work history and injury. If your application gets denied, you can appeal the decision.

File appeals

There are four different levels of appeal available when applying for SSDI.

  • Reconsideration – During this process, someone reviews the initial application and any additional evidence to reconsider your eligibility
  • A hearing – An administrative law judge reviews your application, and you get to speak to decision-makers in person
  • Social Security’s Appeals Council review – This council reviews the case to ensure previous decisions were in accordance with the laws and regulations
  • Review by Federal Court – Filing a civil action in court is the final option available if your application gets denied

The appeal process might take several years to get through each step. If you win an appeal, you should receive payment back to the time of your application, minus the five-month waiting period.

While many SSDI applications do not get approved immediately, knowing that there are several alternative options should encourage you to file those appeals.