There are many ways to appeal a determination or decision about your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. There are also many levels to the appeal process available to individuals who have been denied their claim for SSI. You can ask the Social Security Administration for an administrative review of any action relating to your application, including determinations and decisions the Social Security Administration (SSA) itself makes. There is also an appeal process if an individual disagrees with the determination or decision made on a reconsideration or hearing level. This can be conducted at the Appeals Council Review level or the Federal Court level in Texas. The levels of appeal are:
In Texas, even initial determinations can be appealed. These determinations are the Social Security Administration’s finding of fact and law on such issues as:
After an initial application is filed for SSI, the SSA will send a written initial determination letter stating whether the individual qualifies for benefits. In TX, most initial determination letters decline the applicants. Every time any determination is made, the applicant receives a notice with instructions to appeal the decision. An SSI appeal must be made within 60 days of the receipt of this notice.
Current SSI benefits will continue to remain payable in the original amount until a determination on the appeal is made. To request a reconsideration of the initial determination a Form SSA 561-U2, “Request for Reconsideration” or a Form SSA-789 “Request for Reconsideration- Disability Cessation,” must be completed and submitted.
You and your SSI lawyer for appeals must ask in writing for a reconsideration within 60 days of the date you receive the written notice of the initial determination.
If you and your SSI appeal lawyer disagree with the reconsideration determination, a hearing may be requested before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This is done by submitting a Form HA-501-U5, “Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge.” A notice must be filed in writing to request a hearing within 60 days of receipt of the notice for reconsideration determination or initial determination in rare cases.
More medical examinations and tests may be required by the ALJ. Also, additional witnesses such as medical experts may be called to provide testimony about your case. At least 10 days before the Hearing, your SSI appeal attorney may also call witnesses who can testify on your behalf about your alleged disability. All issue objections, subpoenas, and pre-hearing written statements must be handled by a competent and knowledgeable SSI appeal attorney.
If you disagree with the judge’s decision and want to appeal, your SSI lawyer may request write a letter requesting an Appeals Council review. He may also file Form HA 520 “Request for Review of Hearing Decision/Order.”
The Appeals Council will only review your case upon the submission of additional material or relevant evidence. It also has jurisdiction to remand the case back to the ALJ for further review. On the other hand, the Appeals Council may issue an unfavorable verdict and refuse to remand the case further. Consult your SSI Attorney about how to proceed. The Appeals Council legally must give you due process and the opportunity to be heard before its decision is rendered.
If the Appeals Council denies your request and does not remand your case, you may file a civil suit in the U.S. Federal District Court in Texas. The action must be filed within 60 days of receiving your decision notice from the Appeals Council. The District Court of Texas in your district may remand the case back to the Appeals Council and force them to render their decision or dismiss the case altogether.
The process of applying for and receiving SSI is extremely complicated. There are many regulations that must be followed and documents that must be submitted. Our dedicated SSI lawyers will work hard in an effort to make sure you receive the benefits to which you may be entitled and help to maximize your SSI payments. We work hard to get results! You should call us today. Our team of SSI lawyers is highly skilled and experienced with helping people apply for SSI and will do their best to ensure you receive the money for which you qualify.