New Jersey residents who are seeking Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits for injury or illness will likely understand that they have the right to file an appeal after they have faced the challenge of a denied claim. There are four levels of appeal, including reconsideration, hearing, Appeals Council review and federal court. These are relatively simple to understand. But, there are other aspects that a person should bear in mind when they have been denied and believe their issues still warrant benefits. That includes knowing when to appeal, how to appeal and that there is a right to have representation.

There are 60 days to file an appeal from the date when the applicant receives the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) decision denying the claim. The SSA will function under the assumption that the person got the notification within five days from when it was sent. If it was received later, the person must give proof of that to go beyond those 60 days. Failure to appeal in the required time-frame could ruin the person’s chance to appeal. When asking for more time, there must be a good reason for doing so. This request must be made in writing with the reason why there was a delay.

When appealing, it must be done in writing. The quickest way to do so is online. There is also an appeal form that the person can fill out or he or she can simply send a note to the SSA saying that there will be an appeal on the decision. When appealing the decision, it is allowable to have representation. That can be a qualified person who is familiar with how the SSA handles these cases or, preferably, an experienced attorney. The SSA must approve of a representative before a fee can be charged.

For those who have applied for SSD benefits and been denied, it can make a bad situation worse and put the person in a position where they do not know what they are going to do next. Fortunately, there are the four levels of appeal available. Believing that simply because the case was denied there is no chance to have a better result on appeal is a mistake. Many denials are overturned on appeal. One key is adhering to the rules to appeal. Having legal help that is experienced in Social Security Disability cases from the application stage to the four levels of appeal is imperative to the entire process.