A disability can affect how a person lives his or her daily life. If someone has recently developed a disabling condition, applying for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits may be a top priority, especially if the person can no longer work due to the condition. Taking the time to apply can seem like an accomplishment, and waiting for a decision from the Social Security Administration can be anxiety-inducing. If the decision from the SSA is a denial, the situation may seem disheartening.
Fortunately, appealing the initial decision from the SSA is a possibility. First, applicants could request that their application and medical information be reviewed by a different SSA examiner in hopes of obtaining a different outcome. In the event that a reassessment also results in a denial, it may be necessary for applicants to take their matter to an administrative law judge.
A disability hearing may seem intimidating, but it is not a process that applicants have to go through alone. The following information may also help remove some of the uncertainty of taking this step:
- A disability hearing typically does not take place in a courtroom but at an SSA office or similar designated location.
- The hearing does not have a specific amount of time that it will last, but 15 minutes to one hour is an average length for such hearings.
- Hearings may last longer if applicants have witnesses — such as doctors or other medical professionals — who testify on their behalf.
- Applicants can have representation with them during the hearing, and such assistance could increase the chances of a favorable outcome by nearly three times.
In some cases, Social Security Disability Insurance applicants may still face a denial after the hearing. However, that does not mean they are out of options. Other methods for appealing an SSD denial exist, and exhausting all options before accepting a denial may be beneficial in some cases.