The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the federal agency in charge of providing benefits to people with financial needs. It processes all applications in order to determine if a claimant is qualified to receive disability or retirement benefits.
People may be confused when it comes to the extent of coverage and specific responsibilities of SSA. In order to have a deeper understanding regarding the functions of this agency, here is the truth behind the top two Social Security myths:
Myth: If your application was denied, you can still file a new one if you believe that you are eligible for Social Security benefits.
Truth: You can reverse SSA's initial decision by asking for an appeal, not by filing a new application. You can file a written request within two months after your application was rejected.
Here are the different levels of appeal:
- Reconsideration- In this level, your case will be assessed by an individual who was not involved in the original decision.
- Hearing-It is administered by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who was not involved in the initial and reconsideration stages. He will be in charge of reviewing all the pieces of evidence and documents (new and old) that you have submitted.
- Appeals Council- It may refuse to review the case if it believes that you are not eligible for Social Security benefits. If it accepts your request, it can conduct the review or give the case to an ALJ.
- Federal Court- You have the right to file a case in a federal district court if you disagree with or are not satisfied by the decision given by the Appeals Council.
A Los Angeles disability lawyer can help you reverse SSA's decision by gathering evidence which will show that you are qualified to receive retirement or disability benefits from it.
Myth: SSA denies all initial applications for disability benefits.
Truth: No. SSA does not have any policy regarding denial of applications. However, statistics show that around 70 percent of all applications are denied by the agency. It follows a strict definition of the term disability and applicants who failed to meet it are all rejected.
People with denied applications can still ask for an appeal. If the agency determines that they are really eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs, it will receive its decision and start to provide them with disability benefits.
If you have more questions regarding the issues involved in the application and appeals process, you should seek legal advice from your disability lawyer Los Angeles.