Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

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 individualís 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.

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

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

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

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

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
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?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria