Topic Categories:

Social Security Disability Definitions

Social Security Disability and SSI Overview

The Requirements for Disability

Social Security Disability and SSI Applications

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial

Disability Denials and Filing Appeals

Social Security Mental Disability Benefits

Disability Benefits offered through Social Security

Benefits through SSI disability

Disability Benefits for Children

Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify

Social Security Disability and Working

Winning your Disability Benefits

Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice

Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney

Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions

What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?

Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

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How do you appeal if you are denied for Social Security disability or SSI ?

How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits

If your claim for social security disability or SSI is denied at the initial level, you may file a reconsideration appeal (called a review in some states and a reconsideration in others).

In order to file the disability appeal, you need to contact your local Social Security office or call the toll free Social Security number 1-800-772-1213 (it is usually best to contact the local office).

Once you receive the appeal paperwork, it is your responsibility to return the appeal forms to you local office. If the paperwork is not returned within sixty-five days (social security gives you sixty days to file an appeal plus an extra five days for mailing time) of the denial date, your request for an appeal may be denied.

Please keep in mind that postmarked envelopes do not protect the timeliness of your appeal. Therefore, you should strive to send the appeal forms in well before the deadline to be on the safe side.

Once received, the Social Security office will process your disability appeal information and forward your disability file back to the state disability agency, which in most states is named Disability Determination Services or the Bureau of Disability Determination.

Although the claim is going back to the same state disability agency that denied the claim the first time, a different disability examiner will review the appeal. Sometimes a disability denial will be reversed at the reconsideration level, however the number of reversals is relatively small.

If your reconsideration is denied you will need to contact your local Social Security office or the toll free number and request a disability hearing appeal.

Once again, the Social Security office will process your appeal information and forward your disability claim to your regional Social Security hearings office. At this point, your disability claim will be scheduled for a hearing before an administrative law judge.

You may wish to seek representation at this level, because your claim will be presented to the judge either by you or your representative, who can be a lawyer or a non-attorney representative.

Generally, representatives know the Social Security medical listings and medical–vocational rules (rules which determine what jobs an individual of a certain age group, educational level, work skills, and functional limitations might be expected to perform in a competitive job situation).

Statistics indicate that social security disability and SSI claims with representation (either non-attorney or attorney) yield more allowances than disability claims that are unrepresented and presented to a judge by the disability claimant (you).

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions

Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews