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How can you appeal after a denied Social Security claim?

As a Rhode Island resident who is struggling to make ends meet because of a serious, long-term disability, you may be looking to the U.S. Social Security Administration for possible assistance. You may have already applied for Social Security benefits with the hope that they would help you support yourself and get back on your feet, and you may, like many others, have received a denial in response to your claim. If this describes your current situation, you may be considering filing an appeal in response to your benefit denial.

Per the U.S. Social Security Administration, you have exactly 60 days from the date when you receive word of your claim denial to file an appeal in response. Additionally, there are four possible levels to the appeals process: reconsideration, a hearing before an administrative judge, a review by the appeals council and a federal court review.

In the reconsideration stage, someone with the administration who was not involved in your initial claim denial will take a second look at your application. After he or she considers all the evidence provided, you can anticipate a new decision. If the administration again denies your claim, but you dispute the decision, you can move forward with an administrative hearing.

At the hearing, you can have witnesses, such as medical professionals, come forward to help you make your case. A judge will then issue a decision on your case and notify you in letter format. If you receive another denial, but you still wish to move forward, you can request a review with the appeals council, which the council can either accept or deny. If the council denies your request, or approves it, but denies you Social Security benefits, your last remaining option involves filing a lawsuit in a federal district court.

This information about the Social Security benefits appeals process seeks to educate you, but it is not a replacement for legal advice.


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