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The Four Levels of SSDI Appeals

Jeff Martin Jan. 23, 2023

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has the authority to reject your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims in specific situations. However, you have the option of challenging this judgment. You can start the four stages of the appeal procedure once you receive your notice of denial from the SSA.

If you need Social Security Disability attorneys in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Law Offices of Jeff Martin can be of service. Read on to learn about the four different levels of SSDI Appeals.

  • Reconsideration
    You may request reconsideration 60 days after the SSA rejects your initial application for disability benefits or terminates your assistance following a continuous disability review. A medical professional and claims adjudicator not involved in the first decision executes it at the Disability Determination Services level. The DDS will review all the material from your initial determination, like recent medical treatment records and any new information submitted.

  • Administrative Law Judge Hearing
    If you are not satisfied with the DDS’ decision, you have 60 days from receiving the rejection letter to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). You have no later than five working days prior to the hearing date to review your case and submit additional evidence.

    The ALJ will concentrate on your health condition(s) and decide based on the facts in your case file. They are also permitted to summon witnesses like medical experts to the stand. They will also check why you requested a hearing and make evidence-related requests based on that reason.

  • Appeals Council
    In the event that you are unsuccessful in your disability hearing, you may ask the Appeals Council to review your case. You can mail a form HA-501 to Social Security or submit an online request for an Appeals Council review. They have the power to either accept, reject or dismiss your petition.

    If the Appeals Council approves your petition for review, it will either decide your case or send it back to a judge for another hearing or possibly a new decision. If their decision is not in your favor, you will be notified and given a chance to respond before rendering the judgment. If their decision is favorable, they will remand any remaining issue with your case for further proceedings.

  • Federal Court Review
    You can still file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court if your appeal falls through. There are no juries in hearings for disability cases. The judge assesses the case for legal errors but, in practice, may also rule based on factual matters.

It’s crucial to have the best legal counsel to assist you in the appeal process. If you need an attorney to represent you and your case, the lawyers at Law Offices of Jeff Martin are ready to help. We are a law firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma that can guide you in handling your SSDI appeals.