Chapter 8

When You and Social Security Disagree: The Appeals Process

In This Chapter

arrow Requesting reconsideration when your claim is turned down

arrow Seeking a hearing before an administrative law judge

arrow Bringing your challenge to the Appeals Council

arrow Suing Social Security in federal court

arrow Doing everything you can to keep the process moving

You’ve filed for benefits and been turned down. You believe the Social Security Administration (SSA) made a wrong decision. You’re frustrated, and you want to do something about it. Most often, these kinds of situations involve Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, and such challenges are the focus of this chapter. Be aware, though, that disputes can emerge over earnings amounts, family relationships that affect eligibility for benefits, and other matters. Whatever the issue, you can ask Social Security for a more favorable decision, and you can help your chances by understanding the system.

The appeals process has four distinct phases, ...

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