How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Appealing A Social Security Disability Determination

If your disability claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal of the denial. You have a sixty-five day total appeal period from the date of your disability denial notice to appeal your disability decision.

If you choose to file an appeal, you will file what is known as a request for reconsideration. You can file your own reconsideration online or you can complete paper reconsideration appeal forms. Whether you file your reconsideration online, or by paper, you must return signed medical release forms (so the disability examiner who eventually gets your case can send for the medical records) to Social Security. Just a reminder, even if you file everything online you must return your signed medical release forms in order for Social Security to send it back to the state disability agency for a decision.

The reconsideration appeal is sent to the same state disability agency (DDS, or disability determination services) that made your initial disability claim decision; however, a different disability examiner will make your reconsideration determination. Do not be discouraged if your reconsideration appeal is denied as well. There are very few reconsideration approvals, because disability examiners have very little flexibility in making their medical decisions.

For most disability applicants, the reconsideration appeal is simply a necessary step to eventually get to a disability hearing. If you receive a reconsideration denial notice, you once again have sixty-five days to file your request for a disability hearing.

As with the request for reconsideration, the request for a hearing can be done online or on paper. You can file the appeal and complete the disability report form online or on paper but, but unlike the reconsideration appeal, you do not actually have to return the medical release forms to Social Security in order for your appeal to be sent to the hearings office.

Administrative law judge hearings are an individual’s best change of winning their disability claim if they have been denied at the initial disability claim level (i.e. the disability application level). In fact, more individuals are approved at administrative law judge hearings than at any of the other disability claim levels. Roughly two thirds of all disability applicants who attend hearings are approved for disability.

What if you are not successful at your hearing? If you are denied at the administrative law judge hearing, you can file another type of appeal: an "Appeals Council Review". So few of these reviews end in an approval, or even in a remand back to the judge (remands occur when disability case are sent back for the judge to address errors) that Social Security allows individuals to file a new initial disability claim while they are waiting on the Appeals Council decision.

The last appeal level is in Federal Court, and very few disability claims are ever taken to this level. Most individuals file a new initial disability claim if their hearing is denied rather than try to take it to Federal court.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

The Steps of The Social Security Disability Determination Process
How is the Determination for Disability made by Social Security?
Appealing A Social Security Disability Determination
Who makes the Determination of a Social Security Disability Claim?
Getting a Social Security Disability Determination After Seeing a Psychologist at a Mental Evaluation
Disability determination services in North Carolina
How does the North Carolina Social Security Disability determination process work?
Social Security back pay and temporary state disability benefits

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.