All You Need to Know About SSI Appeals
Many applicants for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) face the disheartening truth that their initial claims may be rejected. While denials from the Social Security Administration (SSA) are a frequent occurrence, they do not necessarily mark the end of your claim. By enlisting the support of a committed social security attorney, you may have the opportunity to appeal and successfully reverse these denials.
Why SSI Claims Can Be Denied
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims may be denied for various reasons. Common causes include exceeding income and asset limits, failing to meet medical eligibility requirements, or providing insufficient documentation to support the claim. Other factors such as non-cooperation with the Social Security Administration (SSA), inappropriate living arrangements, or issues related to immigration status can also lead to denial. Understanding these criteria and working with the knowledgeable professionals at Newlin Disability can be crucial in navigating the complexities of SSI claims.
The Appeals Process
If your SSI claim was denied, an appeal might be the answer. While there is a process for appealing these claims, it is quite extensive and is not always easy to understand on your own. An SSI appeals lawyer could help you navigate each step of the appellate process and serve as your loyal advocate. There are four levels of appeals—prevailing at any of them could get you the benefits you require.
The first step in the SSI appellate process is called reconsideration. As the name suggests, this step involves requesting the SSA to reconsider its initial determination. Some people seek reconsideration when their claim is denied entirely, while others object to the amount of their award.
Reconsideration is only possible following a formal written request. The request for consideration must be made within 60 days of receiving a notice of the initial decision. At this level of appeal, the SSA will only review the initial documentation submitted from the original decision.
If reconsideration is unsuccessful, the next option is to request a hearing. This request can be made by the applicant directly or by their SSI appeals attorney. The request must be made within 60 days after receiving notice of the original decision.
Applicants have the option of appearing at the hearing or not. An applicant can ask that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) make a ruling based on the record as is, or they may request a hearing to submit documentation supporting their request for benefits. Following the appellate hearing, the ALJ will send a written decision to all parties involved.
Following the hearing, an applicant can appeal their decision to something known as the Appeals Council. As is the case with previous levels, this appeal must be lodged within 60 days of receiving notice of an unfavorable decision. Unlike other levels of appeal, the Appeals Council does not have an obligation to hear a case at all.
When an SSI appeal is filed with the Council, it could decline to hear the case. However, it could also accept the request and take up the case. The Appeals Council actually has the power to take up a case even if the applicant has not formally asked them to do so.
The final option for an appeal is through the federal court system. Unlike the other levels that occur within the SSA, this last resort appeal is heard in a U.S. District Court. To take a case to federal court, it is necessary to file a lawsuit appealing a decision for SSI benefits within 60 days after receiving notice from the Appeals Council. A committed SSI appeals attorney could help ensure that a person seeking a legal suit files the proper paperwork in the allotted timeframe.
Struggling to Navigate Social Security Disability Applications?
Look no further than Newlin Disability, the nationwide team of Social Security Disability experts.
With years of experience and a proven track record of success, our lawyers are dedicated to helping clients receive the benefits they need and deserve. Whether you are just getting started with the process or have already been denied, our team is here to provide a free consultation and guide you every step of the way.