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

When Are You Allowed To Ask For A Social Security Disability Hearing?

There are rules that regulate the path that an individual must take to get to a Social Security disability hearing, which means that an individual cannot just file for a disability hearing. Disability claimants must first file an initial disability claim and wait for a decision.

Generally, initial disability claim decisions average about one hundred days of processing time. Some disability claims take longer and some take less than a hundred days to receive a decision.

If an applicant's initial disability claim is denied, they have a sixty day appeal period with an additional five days for mailing (this is counted from their denial notice) to appeal their claim.

The Social Security disability appeal process begins with a request for reconsideration appeal and may end in Federal court. However, most disability claims end at the disability hearing (where the case is decided by an administrative law judge and both the claimant and his or her attorney are present), or at the Appeal Council review (the appeals council is where cases that have been denied by judges are reviewed).

How does the social security appeal process work? If an applicant’s initial disability claim is denied, they must file a reconsideration appeal. In order to file a reconsideration appeal, the disability claimant must complete disability appeal paperwork--either online or on paper--and return it to Social Security by the sixty-fifth day after the date of their denial notice.

The reconsideration appeal is sent back to the state disability agency that made the initial disability decision. Once the reconsideration appeal is at the state disability agency (known as DDS, or disability determination services), another disability examiner will review the initial disability decision along with any new medical information to make another medical disability determination.

Reconsideration appeals generally take about an average of sixty days for a disability decision. If a disability applicant receives a denial of the reconsideration appeal, they have sixty-five days to file their next appeal.

The second appeal level is a request for an administrative law judge hearing, or simply a Social Security disability hearing. This level of the disability appeal process takes the longest time to receive a decision. Currently, the national average wait time for a Social Security disability hearing decision is more than twelve months due to huge backlogs at most Social Security hearings offices across the country.

National statistics indicate that about two thirds of all individuals who attend their Social Security disability hearing are approved for disability benefits which makes the disability hearing appeal level the most winning level of the Social Security disability process.

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

Related pages:

What happens when you go to a Social Security disability hearing?
Preparing for a Disability Hearing to Win Social Security or SSI Benefits
Can a disability attorney speed up my disability hearing case?
Presenting evidence at a social security disability or SSI hearing
Disability Hearing to be Scheduled before an ALJ, Administrative Law Judge
How long does a request for a disability hearing appeal take?
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Social Security Disability Hearing?
Types of Social Security Disability SSI decisions
What can I expect from a Social Security Mental Examination or Evaluation?

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