Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

Can You Appeal A Decision By A Judge On A Social Security Disability or SSI Case?

As with all decisions made by the Social Security Administration, an administrative law judge’s decision can be appealed. An administrative law judge decision, made at a social security hearing, can be appealed to the Appeals Council by filing an "Appeals Council review request".

Generally, you must request the review of the judge's decision within sixty days of the Social security hearing decision. But Social Security assumes that you received your hearing denial notice within five days of the notice being mailed and this is why you actually have sixty-five days in which to get the hearing submitted (remember, though, that the appeal must be at the Appeals Council within that time frame).

If you do not file your request for review in a timely fashion, an administrative law judge can dismiss the request unless you can provide a sound reason for the judge to give you "good cause" for your late filing.

Once your request makes its way to the Appeals Council, it will be evaluated to see if the council feels the administrative law judge or ALJ made a correct decision. If they feel that the decision is correct, your request for review may be denied. If the Appeals Council decides to review your disability case, it can make a medical decision itself. Or, it can remand your disability case back to the Administrative Law Judge for further review--translation: your case would have a second hearing with the same judge who denied you before.

The Appeal Council considers all aspects of your disability claim when making its decision. Very few disability claims receive a favorable decision from the Appeals Council itself. As was stated, those cases that are remanded are reviewed by the same Administrative Law Judge who denied your disability.

As you might imagine, appeals that are sent to the appeals council result in very few decisional changes. However, it is always worth appealing an Administrative Law Judge decision on the off chance that your disability claim will be approved either at the Appeals Council or by the Administrative Law Judge at a second hearing.

Social Security realizes that very few disability claims will be approved at the Appeals Council, so it allows disabled individuals the option to file a new initial disability claim while awaiting the Appeals Council review decision.

Is the appeals council the end of the line in the social security appeal system? No, even the Appeals Council decision can be appealed, but that appeal would have be made in Federal District Court. Most individuals do no choose to purse their disability claim into Federal District Court because of the cost of legal representation. Generally, it is easier and more cost effective to just file a new initial disability claim, i.e. a new disability application.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Related pages:

    How long do disability benefits last?
    Can you file for both SSI and SSD disability benefits?
    A medical or non-medical denial for disability
    What Are The Odds of Winning A Social Security Disability Appeal?
    How does the Social Security Disability Appeal Process work?
    Can You Appeal A Decision By A Judge On A Social Security Disability or SSI Case?
    If You Get Denied For Disability Should You appeal Or file A New Claim?
    If you appeal a Social Security disability denial, how long does it take to receive a decision?
    How long does it take to appeal a disability case?
    Your Chances With SSDI Disability or SSI On the First Appeal, The Reconsideration
    Social Security Disability Appeal Deadlines Are Always 60 Days
    Doing the SSDI Appeal Online
    What is the process to file a Social Security Disability appeal?
    What is the Social Security Appeals Time Limit
    What If you intended an appeal of your Social Security Disability claim but missed the deadline?
    What Happens If You File A Late Social Security Appeal? (What is Good Cause?)
    What Are the Chances of Winning an SSA Disability Appeal?

    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