Disability Appeal Process

ODAR stands for the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. It is a branch of the Social Security Administration. Once you have been denied for disability benefits and your appeal is also denied, you file a request for a hearing. At this point your case is forwarded to ODAR.

You will receive various letter from ODAR over the course of your hearing including confirmation that your case was received and notification of when your hearing date is.

The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review holds the hearings and issues the decisions regarding whether or not you will receive disability benefits. There are over 160 hearing offices with more than 1,600 Administrative Law Judges across the nation. It is these ALJs that hear your final appeal and determine whether you will receive benefits of not.

Most social security disability claims are denied the first time they are submitted. About 70% of claimants are denied benefits. That does not mean that you are not eligible to receive disability benefits.

If you are denied, you will get a letter in the mail which will describe your condition, the impairments that were considered, medical records and an explanation of why you were denied. The explanation may be that there are other jobs that you can perform. Or it could state that you missed a deadline or that your substantial gainful activity produced too much income to qualify.

As soon as you have been denied you are able to file a request for reconsideration. This is the first level of appeal. You have 60 days to file this request. (If you miss this deadline you will have to begin your application process all over again.) You will be mailed forms to fill out for the reconsideration which you need to return as soon as possible. The request will be turned over to a disability examiner just like with your first claim.

If your reconsideration appeal is also denied, your next step will be to request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). This means you will have a face to face meeting where a judge will ask you questions and possibly hear testimony from medical or vocational experts. When the claimant is represented by an attorney the chances of winning benefits with the approval from an ALJ is about 60%.

You may want to consider seeking the assistance of a Social Security Disability Attorney if you have been denied on your initial claim or your reconsideration appeal. These attorneys have been trained in the law and are aware of how to best present your case. You have a better chance of winning your claim with the help of an attorney. If you feel you are eligible for disability benefits then continue to pursue your claim even if it feels daunting.

Dave, in San Clemente, California asks “I just received the notice that my application for disability was denied, how long do I have to appeal?”

From the date that your Social Security Disability claim is denied, you have 60 days to appeal. When you appeal, your case will be sent back to Disability Determination Services for re-evaluation. Most reconsideration appeals are denied, however some are approved. If your condition has worsened and it is reflected in your updated medical records, then there is a good chance that you could win your appeal.
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Tim from El Cajon, California asks “I applied for Social Security Disability in San Diego, CA and was denied. Can I apply again?”

If your application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is denied, the correct thing to do is file an appeal. Over 70% of disability applications are denied and it is very common for a person to give up when he/she has been denied. Don’t give up, be persistent and follow your disability claim all the way through the appeals process. A disability hearing is where you will have your best chance to win your claim.
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Kim, in National City, CA, asks “If my claim for SSDI is denied, how much time do I have to appeal?”

If your claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is denied, you have 60 days to file a reconsideration appeal. It is very important to file the appeal as soon as you can, if you miss the 60 day window, you will probably need to re-apply for SSDI and start all over again.
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The majority of people who file a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are often disappointed when their claim is denied. The fact is that the majority of SSDI and SSI claims are denied. If your claim is denied, you are usually given 60 days to appeal. You can file a Disability Appeal online or in person at your local Social Security Administration office.

There are 2 forms that you must complete in order to file an appeal. The first form is the appeal request which will prompt you for information about your jobs, where you live, and the conditions that cause you to be disabled and unable to work. The second form is the appeal disability report which is where you will provide detailed information about your condition and history of treatments.

There are a few reasons why you might choose to file your appeal online. First of all, it is very convenient. You do not have to drive to the Social Security Office and you don’t have to wait in line. Also, if your deadline is about to expire, you can quickly get on line and file your appeal. This might save you from having to restart the entire application process over from the beginning.

If you are unsure about the appeal process, you might want to file your appeal in person. Filing in person will give you an opportunity to ask questions about the appeal process. Asking questions will make you better informed of the criteria that the Social Security Administration needs to make a decision on your case.

The Social Security Administration prefers that you file online. The main reason for this is due to the fact that the Social Security Administration is under staffed. It takes a lot less resources to handle online appeals compared to dealing with all the claimants face to face.

The important thing is to not get discouraged if your Disability Application is denied. You can still win your case either in the appeal process or at a judicial hearing. If you have any questions, you should contact an experienced disability attorney.

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