Whether one has been living with a disability since birth or acquired one later in life because of an illness or injury, it is important that individuals in Michigan and elsewhere to understand what they can do to ease the challenges that a disability could pose. In some instances, an individual may be unable to work or maintain a livable income. In these matters, it can be imperative to explore one’s options when it comes to Social Security disability benefits.
Applying for disability benefits can be an overwhelming time, as one has likely never gone through this application process. While one may believe that they meet the definition of disabled and are suffering from a qualifying condition, the reality is that many initial applications are denied. Thus, it is important to also understand the appeal process.
There are four levels in the appeals process. One does not need to go through all four levels; however, if an unfavorable decision is made at one level, then one can continue the appeals process and move on to the next level. The first level is reconsideration. Someone that was no part of the original determination would look at all the evidence submitted as well as any new evidence. The second level is a hearing before an administrative law judge.
The third level is a review by the appeals council. They can deny this request if they believe the hearing decision was supported and in accordance with the laws and regulations of Social Security. If they review the matter, they can either decide the case or return it to the administrative law judge for further review. The final level is a federal court review. This is a civil suit filed in a federal district court.
Being denied SSD benefits can be a shocking experience; however, it is one that many applicants have to face. While it can be upsetting news, it is one that brings with it various options. Appealing a denial can be an overwhelming experience; therefore, it can be beneficial to seek legal guidance through this process, as it can help one understand their rights and ensure that they timely take the steps necessary to obtain disability benefits.