For a court to hear any case, it must have what is known as subject matter jurisdiction. This is the authority of the court to hear cases of a particular type or cases relating to certain subject matter.
This is as true in a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) case as it is in an auto accident lawsuit. In an SSDI case, the process begins by filling an application at the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). This application will probably get denied so this will require filing a request for reconsideration with SSA. Following a denial of a request for reconsideration, claimants must request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ) at the SSA Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. If claimant is not successful at this point, he or she can appeal to the SSA Appeals Council. This is a discretionary review, meaning the council can deny to hear the appeal from an ALJ.
In most cases, however, SSA will agree to hear the appeal of a denial from an ALJ since it can save them money in the long run. Many people will drop off along the way in what has unfortunately become a long and difficult process to get SSDI or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, so the more steps that are put in place, the more denials there will be and this means that an unrepresented claimant may see things as even more of an uphill battle. When a claimant decides not to continue with the process. They can always file another application process all over again, and sometimes this is the only option, but that also starts the clock over again. Currently, it is taking those who apply for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in Boston two years or more to get benefits if they are eventually successful. Continue reading