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What are my appeal rights after a disability benefits denial?

While many people are entitled to Social Security Disability benefits, it’s common for first-time applicants to have their benefits denied. The person applying for benefits may have overlooked a detail, or the Social Security Administration may have made a mistake.

If you are denied disability benefits, don’t give up. You can file an appeal of that decision, and you should. The following is an overview of your appeal rights if your Social Security Disability benefits application has recently been denied.

You must act within the deadlines

If you are seeking a reconsideration of your application, you must comply with the strict deadlines. You will need to take action within 60 days of any answer you are given to file for a further review in hearing or a review by the Appeals Council. If you file late, your appeal may be dismissed.

You have the right to request a reconsideration

If you believe that your application was unfairly denied, you have the right to request a reconsideration. This process will involve a person who didn’t previously participate in the decision reevaluating the application. As part of this process, you also have the opportunity to provide additional information that may help improve your application.

You have the right to an ALJ hearing

If the reconsideration is not successful, you can then request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). By attending the hearing in person, you’ll likely have improved chances because you can answer questions that are presented to you.

If you have not yet been successful in gaining Social Security Disability benefits, it is important that you take action right away and assert your rights.

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