Social Security Administration Appeals

Social Security Administration Appeals

Advocates for Social Security Administration Appeals
Get help with filing a social security administration appeal.

If you wish to appeal a denied social security claim, you must submit a written request within 60 days from the date you receive your denial letter. It is assumed that you receive the denial letter five days after the date on the letter, unless you can show that you received it later. If you need help with your appeal, contact SSDA USA right away.

How many appeal levels are there?

There are four levels of appeal. They are:

  • Reconsideration
  • Hearing by an administrative law judge
  • Review by the Appeals Council
  • Federal Court review


A reconsideration is a complete review of your claim by someone who did not take part in the first decision. The social security administration will look at all the evidence submitted when the original decision was made, plus any new evidence.

Most reconsiderations involve a review of your files without the need for you to be present. However, when you appeal a decision stating you are no longer eligible for disability benefits because your medical condition has improved, you can meet with a Social Security representative and explain why you believe you still have a disability and therefore still qualify for benefits.


If you are unsatisfied with the reconsideration decision, you may ask for a hearing by an administrative law judge. The administrative law judge will not have had any part in the original decision or the reconsideration of your case. Hearings usually take place within 75 miles of your home. The administrative law judge will notify you of the time and place of the hearing.

Before the hearing, you may need to provide more evidence and clarify information about your claim. You may look at the information in your file and give any new information about the progression of your medical condition.

At the hearing, the administrative law judge will question you and any witnesses you bring. Professionals such as medical or vocational experts also may give information at the hearing. You or your representative may question the witnesses.

It is usually to your advantage to attend the hearing even if you have a social security disability representative helping you with your case.

After the hearing, the judge will make a decision based on all the information in your case. They will take into account any new information you give. Once a decision has been made, you will receive a letter in the mail and a copy of the judge’s decision.

Appeals Council

If you disagree with the hearing decision, you may ask for a review by Social Security’s Appeals Council.

The Appeals Council may randomly or selectively choose your request for review. However, it may deny a request if it believes the hearing decision was correct. If the Appeals Council denies your request for review, you will receive a letter explaining the denial.

On the flip side, if the Appeals Council decides to review your case, it will either make a decision on your case itself or return it to an administrative law judge for further review. You can expect to receive a copy of the decision in the mail once the council reviews the case and makes a decision on eligibility. If the Appeals Council returns your case to an administrative law judge, you will receive a letter and a copy of the order.

Federal Court

If you disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision or if the Appeals Council decides not to review your case, the last step you can take is to file a lawsuit in a federal district court.

Don’t give up if the SSA rejects your claim! Through the appeals and hearing process, it’s possible to present your case in front of a judge.

The bottom line – it is important to take the time to research and consult with an experienced attorney who focuses on claims/appeals/hearings for Social Security Disability benefits. You should take this step prior to applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, filing an appeal, or requesting a hearing. Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income can provide life-changing support that can help you adjust to a new lifestyle or maintain financial independence. Contact us now to get started!