If you have become disabled and in need of financial assistance because you can no longer work to support yourself, you may well have decided to file a claim to receive Social Security Disability benefits. This claim may be made and reviewed by a Disability Determination Services office. If your claim is denied, you should not feel that you have no other options as you can appeal this decision.

The tiered SSDI appeal process

As explained by the Social Security Administration, there are actually four different tiers of appeals built into the Social Security Disability system. You may not necessarily need or use all four tiers, but it can be useful for you to understand each one. Appeals may be made for claims that were denied based on medical reasons or non-medical reasons. A medical denial may be due to the fact that you were found to not meet the definition of being disabled. A non-medical denial may include factors such as your income or contributions to SSA.

Levels of appeals

After you receive a claim denial notice, you generally have 60 days in which to request a reconsideration by the DDS office. This would be conducted by someone who had not been involved in your initial review. If this results in another denial, you may request a hearing with a judge. An appeals council review would be the next step, followed by a federal court review.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in New Jersey an overview of the options that may be available to them if their initial claim for Social Security Disability has been denied, whether for medical reasons or non-medical reasons.