Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are only available to those with very serious medical conditions. To qualify, people generally have to be unable to work or to take care of themselves without support. They also need to have made enough contributions to Social Security through taxes to qualify.
Some people who seem to meet all of the qualifications for SSDI still don’t get the benefits they need. Instead, they receive a letter denying their application. If you have not received the approval you expected when you apply for SSDI benefits, you have appeal options.
There are multiple levels of appeal available for those who need benefits
Everything from paperwork mistakes to personal bias on the part of the employee analyzing your application could affect whether you get benefits or not. To make the process as fair and accessible as possible, the Social Security Administration (SSA) allows people to appeal a denial of their benefits in various ways.
The first form of appeal is reconsideration. It involves having someone else at the SSA review the application the original reviewer denied. If that isn’t successful, you can then request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. The judge can look at your initial application and additional documentation to decide if you qualify for benefits.
Even if your hearing isn’t successful, you may have other appeal options beyond that to help you obtain the benefits you need. Understanding that a denial isn’t the end of the road can help you pursue the SSDI benefits you have earned as a working adult.