Was your Social Security claim denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA)? It is your right to appeal the decision, and now you have an even easier method of doing so. As of December 10, 2016, the SSA allows you to file an appeal online for both medical and non-medical issues to dispute adverse actions or denials of a claim. (Non-medical appeals cover issues such as disputes over Medicare premium rates and cases of overpayment.)
The online appeals process extends to recipients living outside the US. Prior to the online process, appeal options were limited and often impractical for those in other countries.
The SSA online appeal site walks you through the appeal process in a user-friendly fashion. The initial menu allows you to choose between medical decisions or non-medical decisions, as well as allowing you to resume a medical appeal that you had already started.
Before you begin the online appeal process, make sure that you have the necessary supporting documents (forms, medical reports, written statements, and legal documents) to process your appeal. Further information on required documents may be found on the SSA website.
Generally, supporting documents may be uploaded through the website, so make sure you have all of your documents in a suitable electronic form for uploading. However, SSA only accepts original or certified copies of some documents; those will need to be mailed into the SSA (or brought into the SSA office if you prefer – but in that case why bother with an online appeal?).
SSA estimates that medical appeals should take from 40 to 60 minutes assuming a suitable Internet connection. Non-medical appeals should take less time, approximately 25 minutes.
The online site for non-medical appeals saves answers automatically as you proceed through the process, but you cannot exit the application and come back to complete it later. The medical appeal site also saves answers automatically, but it does allow you to take a break and return to an appeal that has been saved in progress.
The SSA will contact you if there are any questions or updates regarding your appeal. If you have a personal appointed representative for your SSA claim, make sure that his or her contact information is also included with your submitted information.
You can check the status of your appeal from the submissions page at any time. A simple click of a button will direct you to My Social Security, where you can log in to your personal page (or create one if you do not already have one established).
Keep in mind that the same time limits apply to online submissions as they do to other methods. Generally, you have sixty days from the date of receipt of the letter that informs you about the decision. The SSA assumes that you received the letter within five days of the date on the letter. If you received it later than five days beyond the letter date, keep that limitation in mind.
For any other questions regarding the general appeal process, refer to the Social Security Publication "Your Right To Question The Decision Made On Your Claim".
You still have the traditional options of appealing by phone or in person at your nearest Social Security Administration office, if you prefer. We hope you don't have to dispute a Social Security claim at all, but if you do, at least you have choices on the method to use.
Read our article on what you need to get the Social Security benefits you deserve to learn more about the four levels of appeal and the supporting documents you need to submit for your case to be re-evaluated.
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