Social Security Disability Appeals Process

If you are denied Social Security Disability at the application level, then in most states to appeal a denied application you fill out a form entitled “Request for Reconsideration.” Essentially this involves a review of the records that are already in your file and you are given the opportunity to submit any new information if it exists. Without more, you are basically asking for this agency to go back and admit it was wrong in their initial denial of your disability benefits. The likelihood of prevailing on this review alone is slim, unless you have additional information that was not a part of your file. If you are still denied Social Security Disability benefits at this level then you proceed to appeal that decision and request a hearing before the ALJ.

The appeals process to request a hearing is so back logged that it takes approximately eighteen months or more for a hearing to be scheduled before the ALJ. When you receive your hearing letter it will advise you of the date and time of your hearing.

Accompanying this letter will be an acknowledgment that you must complete and return to the ALJ. This is to confirm you are aware of the date and time that has been set for your hearing and that you will be there. If you are unable to make this scheduled date, it is important that you contact the court immediately to arrange for a different date.

Before this hearing date, it is important that you review the documents contained in your file. Currently, Arkansas sends out a compact disk (CD) with copies of these documents that are contained within your file. It is important for you and your attorney to review the contents of this file to ensure all the records from your health care providers have been received. If any are missing it is important to obtain these and submit them for inclusion into your file before the hearing. In addition if you have received treatment or additional diagnostic tests since you applied for SSDI, then it is also important that you gather these documents and submit them to be included within your file before the hearing.

Updating your file ensures that the ALJ has the most current information before deciding your claim.

Lisa Douglas, RN/Attorney at Law. Lisa Douglas has been licensed as a Registered Nurse since 1986. She has practiced law since 2004. Focus of her law practice is personal injury, social security disability, medical malpractice, products liability, injury and accident claims.