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Friday, June 22, 2007

SSA Appeals

There are two programs where a disadvantaged or disabled person may claim benefits from the Social Security Administration: (1) Social Security disability Insurance Benefits program (SSDI) and (2) Supplemental Security Income.

In a nut shell SSDI provides benefits to disabled workers, dependents and surviving spouses. On the other hand, SSI provides benefits to disabled individuals whose income and assets are below SSA specified levels.

In California, you can file for an application for the benefit on your own or ask the assistance of a social security lawyer. In either case, if you are denied eligibility for the benefit during the first time, an appeal should be promptly made. Appeal with SSA denotes three procedures: (1) Reconsideration; (2) Hearing; and (3) Appeals Council Review.

A reconsideration is a complete review by the SSA of its initial decision. It will look at all the documents you filed including proof of disability or income and assets as need be. Your case will be reviewed by an SSA representative not privy to the first evaluation of your case.

Second part is the hearing of your case. An administrative law judge conducts the hearing where you can appear in person.

Last is the Appeals Council Review who may or may not review your case. If it decides to review your case they may review it on their own or revert it to the administrative law judge for further review.

In the end, it is to your advantage to seek a lawyer’s assistance especially with appeals as lawyers are more adept in the workings of the Social Security laws and processes.