What Does “Appeal Under Review” Mean for SSDI?
The Social Security Administration’s “appeal under review” update in the Social Security disability (SSDI) appeals process can be perplexing. The notification advises you that a decision has been made. You read all of the information you can find carefully, and it contains no clues about what that decision may be.
You’re not missing anything. You won’t be advised of the decision until the review is complete. Many SSDI applicants think “under review” sounds negative, or just worry about why they’re seeing this update and what they should do. Here’s what you need to know if you receive an “appeal under review” letter or see that status.
What Does “Appeal Under Review” Tell You?
The short answer is that seeing “appeal under review” doesn’t tell you anything especially useful about your case. It means that a medical decision has been made, but that decision could be positive or negative. It tells you that the SSA has assigned someone to review certain elements of your claim. But, that’s not necessarily a problem for you. It’s just a step in some SSDI appeals.
In other words, you don’t know anything more about the outcome of your case than you did before the status update, except that the process is nearing an end. For better or worse, there’s generally nothing to do but wait. If and when your claim is approved, you’ll be clearly notified. If your claim is denied, you’ll be notified and have an opportunity to take the next step in the process.
What if the Appeal is Denied?
The appeals process is a multi-step one, so if you receive a denial after the review is complete, you still have options. The hearing before the administrative law judge (ALJ) is one of the last steps in the process, but it’s not the end of the road. The next step is to request a review by the Appeals Council. Unlike the other steps in the process, there’s no right to this review–the Appeals Council decides whether or not to take up the case.
If they pass or rule against you, the final step is the federal district court. That is a much more complex process that is best attempted with the help of an experienced disability lawyer.
How a Social Security Disability Advocate Can Help
Most SSDI claims are initially denied, and it can take months or years to work your way through the appeals process and secure benefits. That means it’s especially important to construct a strong application with thorough documentation and to keep the process moving forward if you have to appeal.
At Disability Help Group, we can assist at any stage of the process, from initial application through the Appeals Council review. To learn more about how we can help, contact us here or call (800) 800-3332. Generally, the earlier in the process you get help, the better.