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

Filing a Disability Appeal in Pennsylvania

Filing an appeal--versus filing a brand new claim--will typically be your best option if your Social Security Disability or SSI disability claim has been denied in Pennsylvania.

Though many claimants file a new claim from scratch, the success rate for doing this is very low and typically the new claim is denied for the same reasons as the first claim. An appeal, by contrast, will preserve a claimant's appeal rights. Usually the goal will be to get the case heard by an administrative law judge, or ALJ, at a disability hearing where the odds of approval will be substanially higher.

A disability appeal in Pennsylvania must be filed within 60 days of the date of your denial and this timeframe applies to all levels of the system.

Requesting the appeal

To request an appeal, you may contact the Social Security office where you initiated your claim and they will, in turn, send you the appropriate forms to fill out out and send back. Once you send your appeal paperwork in, you should receive a notice of acknowledgement from the Social Security office verifying that they have your paperwork. If you do not receive an acknowledgement within 2 weeks you should contact the field office to make sure the appeal was received.

If you sent in an appeal just prior to the expiration of the appeal deadline (60 days from the date of the most recent denial), then you may wish to hand deliver your appeal and get a receipt from the Social Security office.

Claimants are advised, of course, to keep copies of all paperwork submitted to SSA.

Information to provide for the appeal

As with the initial claim, i.e. disability application, that you filed, the decision on an appeal will be made on the basis of evidence, primarily medical evidence.

If you have new medical evidence that needs to be reviewed, meaning you have received recent medical treatment, be sure to indicate this on the disability report form for your appeal. This will put SSA on notice to request this information which may be helpful in deciding your disability case.

Representation on an appeal

If you have representation in the form of a disability attorney or a non-attorney claimant's representative, be sure to contact them once your learn your claim has been denied. SSA is required to inform both you and your representative's office of any case actions, including denials, once they have been put on notice that you have representation.

However, it has been my experience over several years that, in many instances, either the claimant or the claimant's representative will not receive notification. And, in some cases, neither party will receive notification. Why this continues to happen is anyone's guess. However, suffice it to say, if you get a notice of denial in the mail, you should contact your social security attorney or non-attorney rep immediately.

After your representative is made aware of the fact that you've been denied, they will be on notice to file your disability appeal within the 60 day deadline. And, for the most part, representatives get appeals submitted to the social security administration in a timely manner. However, it does happen on occasion that a representative will, for whatever reason, miss an appeal deadline.

For this reason, it is not a bad idea for a claimant to check back with their disability representative's office if they have not received copies of the appeal paperwork within 4 weeks after the date of the denial. Doing so can verify that either the appeal was submitted to SSA, or it can serve as a reminder that the appeal still needs to be filed.

Note: Reconsideration appeals are not currently conducted in Pennsylvania as Pennsylvania is a prototype state testing a system in which denied claims move immediately to the hearing level upon appeal. Those who are denied on a disability application should request, and prepare, for a hearing before a federal administrative law judge.

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

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New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in Pennsylvania?
Applying for disability in Pennsylvania
Getting a disability attorney in Pennsylvania
Social Security Disability Claim Status in Pennsylvania
Filing a Disability Appeal in Pennsylvania
Denied for Disability in Pennsylvania
What does a disability lawyer in Pennsylvania do to help a claim?

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.

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.