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Does an SSDI appeal always involve a hearing in front of a judge?

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2022 | SSDI

Many people live their entire lives without ever setting foot in a courtroom. Others end up embroiled in legal matters because of something they did that led to criminal charges or a mistake by another person that left them hurt.

In rare situations, those attempting to secure certain kinds of benefits, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, could end up in court as well. Some appeals cases end up in front of administrative law judges (ALJs) who make a determination about whether an applicant technically qualifies for benefits or not.

Do you have to go to court to get SSDI benefits after a denied benefits claim?

Some people get approved during reconsideration

Not every SSDI applicant has to attend an appeals hearing to get benefits. There is a stage of appeal that takes place before a court hearing. Reconsideration is the process of having a Social Security Administration (SSA) employee review the application again.

Factors ranging from technical errors on the application to the personal bias of the employee processing your claim could result in an unfair denial of benefits to someone who technically qualifies. Reconsideration is a necessary stage for anyone hoping to have a hearing in front of an ALJ.

For a small percentage of applicants, typically around 2% of the people who applied, reconsideration will result in an approval. They won’t have to go to court to get their benefits because an SSA employee determines that they qualify after reviewing their application.

Is reapplying better than going to court?

Some people wrongly dislike the idea of going to court when seeking SSDI benefits. Others allow themselves to despair after a rejection and give up on the idea of pursuing benefits. An appeal is never a guarantee of success, but it is another opportunity to get the support that you require.

After a successful appeal, not only will you start receiving monthly SSDI benefits payments, but you can also receive backdated benefits starting when you initially qualified after applying. Even if you were to successfully reapply after a rejection, you would not receive benefits for the time between when you first applied and when you reapply. Only an appeal gives you back-dated benefits.

Learning more about the process of SSDI appeals and the benefits of pursuing them can help those concerned about the steps they must take to secure disability support.