The Process Of Appealing A Denial Of Social Security Benefits

by | May 21, 2015 | Law


Latest Articles



If an individual has applied for Social Security disability benefits and been denied they have the right to disagree with the decision and file an appeal. The appeals process consists of a number of stages but in the majority of jurisdictions it all starts with making a written request for reconsideration of the decision to deny benefits. Rarely does this request result in approval, the appeals process moves on to a formal hearing held in the presence of an administrative law judge, the appeals council or if all else fails the applicant can sue Social Security in Federal Court. The denied applicant can handle the complexities of the appeals process independently but in the majority of cases the wise applicant will hire a Social Security disability lawyer in Michigan to help with the actions which must be taken.

When an individual who is suffering from a physical or mental disability they can apply for benefits. The application will either be approved or denied. In the majority of cases the result is denial. The reasons for denial of benefits are given by the administration and the complete appeals process is explained in detail. When a claimant is in disagreement with the decision they have the right to appeal, the process which starts with the request for reconsideration must be made within 60 days otherwise the application is nullified.

When the request for reconsideration is made it must be accompanied by an explanation of why it is thought that the benefits are warranted and why the decision to deny should be overturned. As there is the possibility that further treatments have been made and the applicant has had further doctor’s visits the results should be included. At this stage an assessment from a different physician is often helpful.
The chances of the denial of benefits being overturned are not good. The process moves on to a hearing in front of an administrative judge. The applicant will be given details of when and where the hearing will be held. The hearing is usually held a close to the applicants home as possible. The administration strongly suggests that the applicant make a personal appearance, if this is not possible a video conference can be arranged. Once the applicant has responded to any questions that the judge may have the judge will consider the appeal and eventually render a decision.

If the administrative judge agrees with the original decision to deny the applicant can elevate the appeal to an appeals council. The council is made up of administrative personnel that have not been involved to date; their task is to review the documentation that was used to support previous decisions. If the council agrees with the applicant the case is heard by a different administrative judge.

As one can see, making the initial application for Social Security benefits is only the beginning of an arduous journey, one that should be taken alongside a Social Security disability lawyer in Michigan.

If you have had an application for Social Security benefits denied then you have the right to appeal the decision. As the appeal process is quite complicated you will be wise to have a Social Security disability lawyer in Michigan as your advocate.