By Stephen H. Olden, Lawyer Referral Service Panelist
After you have filed your original claim for SSD or SSI and are denied, you can appeal the decision. It’s important to make the distinction that you will be filing an appeal on your current application instead of filing a new application. If you fill out a new application each time you are denied, it will start the whole process over again—typically resulting in the same decision denying your claim.
Once your appeal is filed, the state agency will review your file again, including any updates of medical records, limitations in your ability to function, medications, and treatments. If you are denied benefits at this stage, you can then file an additional appeal. This next appeal will be where a hearing is set at which you will appear before a judge and testify about why you cannot work. Going before a judge is usually the most important stage of the disability proceedings.
This also is typically a good time to consult an attorney about the appeal process and to get help with gathering information for your hearing.