Abromson & Carey, Attorneys at Law
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27+ Years Helping the Disabled
Phone: 888-512-7031

How does the appeals process for SSI benefits work?

This Newark, New Jersey Social Security Disability blog has, on several previous occasions, mentioned that New Jersey residents have the right to, and often have the need to, appeal a decision by the Social Security Administration. Oftentimes, for a variety of reasons, applicants for disability or for Supplemental Security Income are denied benefits when they first apply.

Most decisions about SSI benefits are made at a local level by an individual employee of the Social Security Administration who may or may not consult with others about one's application. A disabled person may ask for reconsideration of that decision, whatever that decision may be, and the local office will review the matter further.

If the applicant does not get anywhere with a reconsideration request, then he or she will need to ask for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Although the proceedings before an Administrative Law Judge are designed to be informal and easy to understand, they still resemble a trial in many respects.

If a New Jersey resident is still not happy with the decision at this point, then he or she may submit it to the Appeals Council of the Social Security Administration. This is the final appeal channel within the Administration itself. If the Appeals Council does not agree with an applicant regarding SSI payments, then the person is left having to sue in federal court, a process that often involves an uphill legal battle. Readers should note, however, that some of these appellate rules could be changing in the near future.

Many disabled Newark residents of limited means rely on SSI payments to stay afloat financially. Thus, they need to fight for these benefits. These people should know that one adverse decision is not necessarily the end of the process and that several appeals are possible. Often, one's appeal can be more successful with the help of an experienced Social Security attorney.

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Abromson & Carey, Attorneys at Law
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