Understanding the SSDI appeals process

Filing for Social Security Disability Insurance in Maryland can be a long and grueling process. In some cases, it can take months to hear back from the SSA regarding a decision on a claim for disability benefits. When an SSDI application is filled out incorrectly or has information missing, the claim may be denied. Furthermore, the administration may make a decision to deny your claim based on information they received from a physician or employer. People who had had their claim denied but feel as though they are entitled to benefits can appeal the SSA’s decision to deny the case.

Applicants who want to file an appeal can do so either online or by mail within 60 days of receiving the denial letter, according to the SSA. The applicants should have all of their information, including the following:

  • A list of current medications.
  • Written statements, forms and reports by medical professionals.
  • Evidence of how their disability has affected work, daily activities and education.
  • Medical documents, such as tests and treatments.

Once the office receives the appeal documentation, the case will be handed over to an administrator who was not involved in making the initial decision. All parts of the case will be looked over to determine whether something was missed or if more clarification is needed. The administrator will then make a second decision on the claim.

If the applicant still does not agree with the decision, they may ask to have a hearing conducted by an administrative law judge, who has no prior knowledge of the details surrounding the claim. In the event that claimants still do not agree with the judge’s decision, they are able to address a Social Security Appeals Council for further review. From there applicants can go to a federal district court and file a lawsuit if they believe that they have been wrongly denied benefits.

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