The average adult in the United States lives on a paycheck-to-paycheck basis even if they have a relatively well-paid job. The more someone earns, the higher their likely standard of living and therefore their household expenses. Most people do not have enough in savings to provide for more than a few weeks of household needs.
Therefore, if someone develops a debilitating medical condition, they may feel frantic about the need for financial support. Provided that someone has worked, can no longer work and will remain unable to do so for 12 months or longer, they may decide to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
Such benefits help cover basic cost of living expenses until someone is old enough to qualify for retirement benefits. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is notorious for rejecting most applicants when they initially apply.
Applicants have the right to appeal
Given that the SSA rejects the majority of SSDI benefits applications that it receives, there is a well-established appeals process for people to follow. Appealing requires sending formal written notice to the SSA. The first stage of the process will involve an internal reconsideration. A different SSA employee will look at someone’s application and any corrections or supplemental materials they have since submitted.
If the reconsideration does not lead to someone securing benefits, then the applicant can request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. It usually takes multiple months of waiting to secure a hearing, but a noteworthy portion of applicants will get benefits during this appeals process. There are two additional stages of appeals available for those who do not prevail in a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.
When an appeal is successful, applicants can receive backdated benefits in a single payment, which can help them catch up on their past-due bills. Those backdated benefits are one reason why appealing is often a better option than simply reapplying. Many people benefit from having professional support when navigating an SSDI application or appeal. Knowing what steps to take and having help with the technical details of the process may help those in need of SSDI benefits.