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What should I know about appealing a disability denial?

If you recently became disabled and you are unable to work, you may have filed a claim for Social Security disability. Like many others who file claims, you may have been denied. This is not uncommon for California residents. However, a denied claim can be discouraging. Many people in this situation may feel like giving up, but you should understand that you can appeal a denied claim.

How do I appeal a denial, and what are the steps involved, you may wonder? The Social Security Administration has outlined the process on its website. Typically, people have 60 days to appeal a denial. The appeals process involves four levels, which include the following:

  • Reconsideration – your claim reviewed by a different person than the original one who reviewed your claim, and may include new evidence to support your need for disability payments
  • A hearing by an administrative law judge
  • A review by the Appeals Council
  • A review by the federal court – the final level of the Social Security disability appeals process, allowing you to file a civil suit in the federal district court

As you can imagine, filing an appeal after a denied claim can be daunting and confusing, although it can be worth it in the end to persevere through the appeals steps. It may help to involve an advocate who is experienced with the process and can protect your rights. Therefore, the information in this blog post is meant to educate you, but it should not replace the advice of a lawyer.