Individuals applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) insurance benefits often have no other form of support available. Federal disability benefits help those who don’t have private disability coverage and yet find themselves unable to work while they are still too young to qualify for retirement benefits.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) fields thousands of applications monthly and evaluates each one based on the claims made by the applicant. Unfortunately, many applicants receive a rejection notice instead of a benefits approval letter when they file a claim.
Many applicants have to appeal to get SSD benefits from the SSA. What can you expect if you pursue an appeal for a rejected claim?
A long path to benefits approval
Unfortunately, the appeals process is a lengthy one. It could be multiple weeks before the first stage of appeal takes place. Reconsideration involves an internal review of your application at the SSA by someone other than the employee who initially deny your claim. If your reconsideration is successful, possibly because you submitted additional medical documentation, receive benefits shortly thereafter.
If the reconsideration is not successful, you will have to wait for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Exactly how long you wait for a hearing will depend on the office that you apply through and their current caseload, but wait times are often a year or longer. A hearing provides you with an opportunity to have a lawyer argue your case in front of an administrative law judge.
Applicants who are successful at their hearing will receive backdated benefits. The SSA will issue a lump-sum payment for the benefits you should have received if they had approved your application when you initially submitted it.
Handling appeals alone can be a big mistake
The back-dated benefits available after approval during an appeal are why many people choose to appeal instead of just reapplying. If you don’t have the right support during that process, during the appeals process, you can easily make mistakes that will result in the SSA or an administrative law judge rejecting your benefits claim.
Not only can it be a challenge to tackle paperwork on your own, but the average person will struggle to present their case appropriately in a courtroom setting. Bringing in professional help can make an SSD appeal more successful and less stressful for the applicant.