The Social Security Disability program exists to help financially support those who have long-term or permanent disabilities that prevent them from working. That said, being approved for disability benefits can be a grueling process that often ends in a denial. What can you and other Washington residents do if you are denied your disability claim?
It is common for most people to have their initial disability claim denied by the Social Security Administration. Many people file false claims in hopes of being financially supported and not having to work. This, unfortunately, makes the process more difficult for those with genuine disabilities. The Social Security Administration explains that there are four levels of appeal that you can go through if your initial claim is denied. They include the following:
- A reconsideration of your claim by a different person than the one who first handled your claim
- A hearing by an administrative law judge who did not take part in your claim’s original decision or reconsideration
- A subsequent review of your case by the Appeals Council
- The opportunity to file a civil suit with the Federal Court
It is important to note that the more evidence you can gather to support your disability claim, the better. This includes documentation of your limitations by your doctor, therapist, former employer and others who are aware of your condition. You may provide additional evidence at any point during the appeals process. Since Social Security matters are complex, this information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.