Social Security disability is an important resource for disabled individuals to be familiar with because the benefits they can apply for may be able to help with their daily needs. Because most applications for Social Security disability benefits are initially denied, it is also important to be familiar with the Social Security disability appeals process.

Eligibility for Social Security disability benefits is based on a qualifying disability and work history. The disabled applicant must have the necessary work history credits to qualify and must also suffer from a disabling medical condition that is severe enough that it prevents them from working. In addition, the disabling medical condition must be expected to last for 12 months or longer or result in death.

There are four levels of appeal available to disabled individuals if their claim for SSD benefits has been denied. The first level of appeal is a request for reconsideration during which time a new reviewer takes a look at the application. If the reviewer again denies the application for benefits, the disabled applicant may request a hearing before an administrative law judge which is something the disabled individual should plan and prepare for. If the administrative law judge also denies the application for SSD benefits, the disabled individual can request a review of the application to the Social Security Administration Appeals Council followed by a claim to federal court as a last resort.

Social Security disability benefits can be an important lifeline for disabled individuals and their families. Because of this, disabled individuals should understand their valuable appeals rights if an application for Social Security disability benefits has been denied.