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Request for reconsideration and appeal of SSDI claim

My initial application for Social Security Disability was denied and I'm very confused about the process from here. I have two questions. When SSDI gets rejected and you file a reconsideration does that mean there will be a hearing on the application so I will have to go to court or to some other place? Also, I think you talked about this in other posts but could you spell out all of the levels of appeal for me, assuming my reconsideration request for SSDI is also rejected. Thanks.

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In a nutshell, after an initial application for SSDI is turned down, the appeals process is as follows: (1) You are required, before taking any of the other steps listed below, to request a reconsideration; (2) Assuming that reconsideration does not result in a favorable outcome, you can then request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge; (3) Unfavourable decisions by the Administrative Law Judge may be appealed at the Appeals Council;  and (4) Finally, you may appeal the decision of the Appeals council by filing an appeal at the federal district court.

As for your second question, when you request a reconsideration, there is no hearing that you must attend.  After you fill out your reconsideration forms and send them to the SSA, the paperwork then goes to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where a disability examiner will review  the file and all submitted medical records and either approve or deny the claim for SSDI. The next level of appeal, however, involves a hearing, in front of the ALJ, where you and your attorney will be allowed to present your case and offer any new information that may be relevant.  Good luck to you.



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