Receiving a denial letter from the Social Security Administration is not the end of the line for your benefits. In fact, your letter includes the reasons that the SSA believes you do not qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
Using that information, you can go through the SSA’s appeals process, which gives you four opportunities to prove your eligibility.
When you request a reconsideration, your application and supporting documentation go to a different SSA representative who has never seen your case before. You can add new information that supports your request. For example, you may need to provide more thorough medical documentation of your condition or financial statements showing your full income.
2. Hearing by administrative law judge
If your reconsideration was unsuccessful, you can request a hearing. A judge who works for the SSA reviews your Social Security file, then hears testimony about your eligibility. Expert witnesses such as a doctor or a vocational expert may testify about your ability to return to work.
3. Review by Appeals Council
The Appeals Council looks at all the requests for review that people submit, but you may not get a formal review if it is evident that the administrative law judge complied with Social Security laws in coming to the decision. The Appeals Council may review the case itself or send it back for further review from the administrative law judge.
4. Federal court review
When all else fails, you can take your case to court. Filing a civil action in a federal district court is the final step in the appeals process.