Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Social Security Disability Process

I write so frequently about individual topics on social security disability that I often forget to include the basic big picture things. In this post, I will explain the Social Security disability process from application to US District Court. To start a claim for Social Security disability or SSI you must apply. If you are denied then in most states you would file an appeal by requesting reconsideration. Some states do not have the second step and go right to the next step which is requesting a hearing. So if you are denied at application and you are in a state that does not have reconsideration stage you appeal by requesting a hearing. If you are denied at the hearing stage you have a few different possible options. You can make an appeal to the Appeals Council called a requests for review. You can file a new application for SSDI or SSI benefits. In many cases, you can both appeal to the Appeals Council and file a new application. If you choose to do both then you essentially have two cases going on at the same time. One thing I should mention here, is that if you win your new application, you should immediately inform the Appeals Council as the sometimes can lead to a remand for a new hearing on the claim before the Appeals Council. You might be wondering why you would want to do this if you just won on your new claim. The reason is because you can only be paid on your new claim from the date of the ALJ's decision (the decision that you are appealing at the Appeals Council). Now if you lose at the Appeals Council you can file a claim in US District Court. In very rare situations, if you are denied by the US District Court you would then appeal to higher federal courts. How and what to appeal to the US District Court or higher federal courts is best left up to an experienced disability lawyer. Don't forget to check my websites for more information on SSD and SSI and veterans compensation law. You can find a list of these websites on the right of this blog.