How to File a State Disability Insurance Appeal

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You are required to appeal your state disability claim in writing.
You are required to appeal your state disability claim in writing. (Image: pile of papershets with paper-clips #2 image by stassad from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

If you disagree with the determination of your state benefits, then you can appeal for reconsideration of your eligibility. Only five states offer state disability insurance for individuals who are unable to work: California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. This insurance covers you for non-occupational injuries if you are injured while unemployed and also for personal injury or illness that is work-related. It provides wage loss benefits and in some states, medical coverage.

Things You'll Need

  • State disability claim
  • Appeal form

Read your eligibility determination document from the state. After you file your disability claim, the state department will mail you a determination that explains your entitled benefits. This determination details how much compensation you should receive and for how long.

Contact your state disability department to review the determination if you disagree with your benefits. Ask for a detailed explanation of how your eligibility was determined and how to make an appeal in your state.

Request an appeals form. Each state has an appeals process for individuals to dispute the eligibility and amount of their benefits. All states require for you to submit your complaint in writing and it must be received within a specific time frame. For example, the state of California requires you to complete appeal form DE 1000A if you are disqualified from receiving benefits. The California disability department will also accept a letter from you explaining why you are protesting your eligibility. You should provide detailed reasons why you disagree with your determination and include your printed name, Social Security number, signature, telephone number, and if applicable, employer's contact information. The fax number or mailing address to send the form should be listed on the document. You must either complete the form or mail the letter within 20 days of receiving your disqualification.

Fax or mail the appeals form and retain proof that you sent the document with either confirmation from the post office or a fax confirmation. Because of strict deadlines, you may need to prove that you appealed the claim in a timely manner.

Follow up with your state disability department within 72 hours after sending the form to make sure they received your appeal and to ask about the next steps. The state department will review your appeal to see if they made a mistake in determining your eligibility and send you another determination to explain their conclusion.

Request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge if you are unsatisfied with your re-determination. An administrative law judge works as an independent and impartial reviewer who presides over formal cases such as unemployment and disability hearings to make fair decisions. The state department will schedule the hearing for you to present your case.

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