Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Requirements for Disability

Applications for disability

Tips and Advice for Disability

How long does Disability take?

Winning Disability Benefits

Common Claim Mistakes

Mental Disability Benefits

Denials for Disability

Appeals for denied claims

Disability Benefits from SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Child Disability Benefits

Qualifications, Qualifying

Working and Disability

Disability Awards, Notices

Hiring Disability Lawyers

List of Disability Conditions

What SSA finds disabling

SSD SSI Medical Evidence

Filing for Disability

Eligibility for Disability

SSD SSI Definitions

Questions and Answers

SSDRC Disability Blog

What is the process to file a Social Security Disability appeal?

If you have received a decisional denial letter on your Social security disability or SSI claim from Social Security, you must contact Social Security to file a disability appeal within the sixty-day appeal process. You are allowed five additional days for mailing, so the actual appeal timeframe for appealing a denied disability claim is sixty-five days.

The social security disability appeal process involves four levels, which are as follows: request for reconsideration, the disability hearing request, the Appeals Council review, and Federal District Court. A large percentage of claimants are lucky enough to have their case finally approved when it is presented before an administrative law judge at the hearing level. But, nonetheless, roughly half of all cases heard by ALJs are denied.

If you are denied by an ALJ, you should apply for a new initial social security disability or SSI claim. You may also request that the appeals council in Falls Church Virginia review the decision of the judge in your case. However, the appeals council rarely overturns judge's decisions and for this reason you should file your new claim and your request for an appeals council review simultaneously.

Starting the process to file a social security disability appeal is simple. Simply contact the social security administration and request the appeal. SSA will then send you your paperwork. If you are represented by a social security attorney, your attorney will do all of this for you.

Timeliness, of course, is key. If you do not have your appeal paperwork turned in to the social security office by the formal deadline, and do not have good cause for a late appeal (such as illness, infirmity, or very extenuating family circumstances), you will be forced to begin the process from scratch.

Is the process for evaluating a social security disability or SSI disability appeal substantially different than evaluating an initial disability application? Answer: it depends. The first appeal, the request for reconsideration, is nearly indistinguishable from the disability application. The reconsideration appeal is handled by the same agency that processes the initial claim, only this time a different disability examiner is assigned to the case.

The second appeal in the system, however, is markedly different from everything that has happened at earlier levels of the system, including the reconsideration appeal. This appeal, the request for hearing before an administrative law judge, involves a face-to-face meeting between the claimant, a federal administrative law judge, and, if the claimant is represented, a disability lawyer.

At the hearing, the claimant may be asked questions regarding their functional restrictions and prior work history. They may also present information of a medical or vocational (work-related) nature to the judge which was not previously considered by the social security administration.

Because claimants may be represented at hearings by attorneys and representatives and because the entire nature of a non-adversarial hearing is inherently different than the process employed by the social security administration at the initial claim and reconsideration levels, most represented individuals manage to win their cases at hearings.

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

Related pages:

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?
Help filing for disability benefits with Social Security

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