Employed Americans contribute to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) with every paycheck they earn. One of the many tax withholding categories that apply to your income is Social Security tax. As you pay into the system, you accrue credits that eventually make you eligible for SSDI benefits or retirement benefits when you get older.
If you suffer a disabling injury in a car crash or develop a serious medical condition, you may need SSDI to help you pay your bills while you can’t work. Unfortunately, many applicants who deserve benefits receive a rejection notice instead of an approval. For the individuals, an appeal may be the only way forward.
Appeals require evidence and patience
The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that sometimes it makes mistakes in its attempt to limit unqualified disability benefit requests. To protect hard-working Americans from an unfair denial of benefits they deserve and frankly need, the SSA offers multiple forms of appeal.
Denied SSDI applicants can request multiple appeals, any of which could result in an approval and possibly even receiving backdated benefits to the day when they initially applied. Before you rush to appeal, it’s important to understand the rejection letter. Understanding what caused your denial can help you prepare for your appeal.
Gathering the right evidence or correcting previous mistakes can increase your chances of a successful appeal. You will need to wait, possibly for months, for a chance to prove your need for SSDI benefits.
What does the appeals process involve?
The most basic form of appeal is a reconsideration request, which helps if you believe that an employee didn’t adequately review your medical documentation. If a reconsideration is not successful, then you can request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.
The judge will review your application, as well as supplemental evidence you have gathered since then, to determine if you should receive benefits. Thankfully, even unsuccessful hearings have appeal options, which means you should not give up in your attempts to receive benefits until you have exhausted all the options available. The entire process could easily take a year or longer.
Understanding the patience and technical procedures required to receive SSDI benefits can help you take the right steps as you seek benefits.