SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Social Security Disability and SSI Questions and Answers
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
More questions about SSD and SSI
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
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: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page