Social Security Disability Resource Center

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How long does it take for a disability attorney to file a disability appeal?

"I hired an attorney right-away with my initial application. Seven months after my initial claim, I was denied. It has been a week since I received my denial letter. Is it normal for an attorney's office to take so long to file an appeal? Should I have them send me proof that they filed my appeal?"

I generally take the view that a disability appeal be filed as soon as possible following the receipt of a social security notice of denial. The reason, of course, is plain. Though the social security administration allows claimants 60 days in which to file an appeal, there's no reason to add any more days to the total processing time for a case than is absolutely necessary. After all, the longer a case drags on, the more precarious your financial situation may become.

How long it takes a disability attorney to file an appeal, and how they view the urgency of filing appeals, can vary substantially. I know one individual whose office seems to think that as long as the appeal is filed by the deadline date, everything is fine. Obviously, when it comes to preserving the best interests of a disability claimant, that sort of attitude is less than optimal. In the filing of appeals, my own preferred approach has been to do the appeal as soon as the notice of denial is received and to let no grass grow beneath it.

Is it normal for an attorney's office to take a week or more to do a disability appeal? I'm sure that it's not abnormal. Consider, however, that many disability representatives and disability attorneys have support staff that perform such functions and that, oftentimes, these support staff members are juggling multiple tasks and quite a few clients. Therefore, simply to ensure that your own case receives the attention it deserves, it is never a bad idea to contact your representative's office to A) notify them that you have received a notice of denial (just in case they don't receive their copy) and B) to inquire as to when your appeal will be submitted.

If you've already attempted to get the status of the filing of your appeal from your attorney and have not received a call back, you may wish to leave another message stating that you need confirmation that they have received their copy of the denial notice and confirmation that the appeal has been filed or will be filed soon. If you do not get a call back and your attorney is local, you may wish to make a personal visit to your attorney's office. Unannounced drop-bys are not a favorite among many reps (disability representatives with larger caseloads can be fairly busy due to their hearings schedule, preparation for hearings, travel time to hearings, and so forth), but it may get you a quick answer as to the disposition of your appeal.

And, yes, your attorney or non-attorney representative should always send you confirmation that your appeal has been filed (typically a copy of what has been submitted to SSA for your own records).

  • 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

    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

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    The SSDRC Disability Blog

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Getting disability in North Carolina

    Related pages:

    Social Security Disability appeals process
    Social Security Administration appeals
    Social Security Disability appeals attorney
    Denied Social Security Disability after hearing
    How to appeal disability denial
    How to win SSI Social Security Disability appeal
    Social Security Disability appeals attorney
    Tips for filing a Social Security Disability Reconsideration
    Social Security Disability denial letter and appeal
    What happens after you request a disability hearing?
    Steps and Tips for requesting a disability hearing
    Which medical conditions will social security recognize as a disability?
    If I don't get disability back pay, do I pay a lawyer fee?
    What is the average time for an answer after a SSDI or SSI disability hearing?
    Will I get an increase in my SSI check?
    Getting disability and receiving a personal injury settlement
    Do disability benefits come from SSI or SSDI?

    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 provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

    How to file for disability, filing tips
    What to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits
    Applying for disability benefits, SSI and SSDI
    What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability?
    Will you get disability back pay?
    Social Security Disability And SSI Qualifications
    Permanent Disability Qualifications for SSD and SSI
    Social Security Disability SSI status
    Disability lawyer representation, finding lawyers
    Who will qualify for disability and what qualifying is based on
    Qualifications for Disability Benefits
    Important points about filing for disability
    How long does it take to get disability after applying?
    Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability?
    Who is eligible for SSI disability?
    How to get disability in Florida