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

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.

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

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.

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