Steps in appeals for SSD and SSI cases

When suffering from an injury, condition or illness in Ohio, Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income can be imperative. If the application is denied, the person might not realize that there are options to appeal. Once the initial determination is made and the claim is denied, the appeals process allows the claimant to ask that the decision be reversed.

There are four levels of appeal for SSD and SSI cases: reconsideration, a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge or ALJ, an Appeals Council Review and a lawsuit in Federal Court. With reconsideration, the claim will be reviewed by someone who had no role in the initial decision. The applicant can provide new evidence. If the reconsideration results in a denial, there can be a hearing before an ALJ. Experts can testify about the disability, and new medical and vocational evidence can be presented.

If the ALJ denies the claim, the applicant can request that the Appeals Council hear the case. The Appeals Council is not required to hear it. If the Appeals Council reviews the case, it can make its own decision or send it back to the ALJ. If the Appeals Council refuses to review the case or denies it, the final option is filing a lawsuit in Federal Court. This will be in U.S. District Court where the court reviews the decision and the evidence. It can send the case back to the ALJ and order a new hearing, or it can order that the applicant receive the benefits.

Those who need SSD or SSI benefits should know how to appeal a denied claim. From the application through each level of appeal, legal advice may be beneficial. A law firm experienced in appeals for SSD and SSI cases may be able to help.