Disabled Missouri residents who are unable to work need financial relief, and they need it fast. For many, the Social Security Disability system can be frustrating, since it can take a significant amount of time to have an initial claim reviewed, and many individuals find themselves facing a denial of their initial claim. As much of a letdown as this may seem, those suffering from a disability should take comfort in knowing that there is an appeals process that may allow them another chance at recovering the financial assistance they need and deserve.
The first step for those who have had their initial claim denied is to seek reconsideration. In this phase, an individual's claim is reassessed by an official who was not part of the initial determination. If the claim is rejected during reconsideration, then a disabled individual can seek a hearing. These hearings are held in front of an administrative law judge, and new evidence can be presented. The judge will analyze the individual's old and new evidence and question any witnesses present before rendering a decision.
If the administrative law judge denies the claim, then an individual can seek review by the Social Security Appeals Council. Again, the evidence is looked at and one of two decisions is made. First, the Council could send it back to the administrative law judge for further review, or it can be denied again. If denied, then the individual is left trying to file a claim in federal court.
The Social Security Disability process can be frustrating and challenging to navigate. However, by being prepared with knowledge of the process and the law, and equipped with persuasive evidence, a disabled individual may be able to put forth a convincing case.
Source: Social Security Administration, "The Appeals Process," accessed on April 24, 2016