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Social Security Disability Appeal Process

Request A Reconsideration Online For A Medical Determination

Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits. Stage 2: Reconsideration.

If we recently denied your disability claim for medical reasons, you can request an appeal online.

A reconsideration is a complete review of your claim by someone who did not take part in the first determination. We will look at all the evidence used in the first determination, plus any new evidence that we obtain or that you submit.

Where To File An Appeal

People can file their appeal request online and submit documents to support the appeal electronically. Even people who live outside the country can file an appeal request online. A person can also call the SSA toll-free number or his or her local Social Security office in Chicago to request the appeal forms.

How To Appeal A Decision

Generally, there are four appeal levels. If you are not satisfied with the decision at one level, you may appeal to the next.

The appeal levels are:

  • Reconsideration: A reconsideration is a complete review of your claim by someone who did not take part in the first decision. We look at all the evidence submitted in the original determination, and any new evidence.
  • Hearing: If you disagree with the decision at the reconsideration level, you may ask for a hearing. An administrative law judge, who had no part in the original decision or the reconsideration of your case, conducts the hearing.
  • Appeals Council Review: If you disagree with the hearing decision, you can request a review by Social Securitys Appeals Council. The Appeals Council looks at all requests for review. They will decide whether or not there is a reason to return your case to the judge for further review.
  • Federal Court Review: If you disagree with the Appeals Councils decision, you can file a lawsuit in a federal district court as the last level in the appeals process.
  • Please visit our Appeal A Decision webpage for more information at www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/appeal.html.

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    Hire An Experienced Lawyer To Help You

    Because the process can be lengthy and stressful, many applicants will assume a denial is a final answer. But at John Foy & Associates, we believe all workers desire the right to benefits they deserve. As Social Security Disability lawyers, our goal is to get you the benefits you need to support yourself and your family. And we dont get paid unless we win your case.

    Our social security disability lawyers in Georgia can help you:

    • Prove your disability to the SSA.
    • Guide you through the complex appeal process.
    • Assist you in filing your application for the first time.
    • Answer all of your questions regarding your unique circumstances and how they apply to your case.

    Remember, our goal is to ensure that you get the benefits youve paid into your entire career. You shouldnt have to worry about your financial situation, and you shouldnt take no for an answer. We wont let an arbitrary rejection get in the way of your financial security.

    The Success Of Disability Appeals

    Social Security Disability Denial? Appeal Again and Again!

    In 2016, about 35.4 percent of all Social Security disability benefits claims were approved at the initial application stage, also called the initial adjudicative stage. This means that just about 65 percent of applicants did not receive awards right out of the gate. Not everyone appeals their initial denial, as some people may realize their claim was a long shot, while others are unsure of their right to appeal or the appeals process. This is only one of many reasons why you should always consult with a disability appeals law firm.

    Those that do wish to appeal will request a reconsideration of their application. At the reconsideration stage in 2016, 41,139 awards resulted from 445,260 requests, meaning only 9.2 percent of reconsiderations were successful. The success rate is often low at this stage of the appeals process because your claim is being reviewed by the same agency that denied your claim in the first place. Even though a different examiner will handle the reconsideration, the likelihood is low that they will overturn the denial unless the initial examiner made an obvious error.

    One of the most successful stages of the appeals process is the ALJ hearing. The same year as above, 12,535 decisions were made at ALJ disability hearings, with 5,826 approvals, which comes out to an approval rate of 46.5 percent. While the number of hearings is not as high as reconsiderations, a higher percentage of appellants are successful.

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    You Can Only Do One At A Time

    Another consideration is that while you are waiting on your appeal, you cannot refile a new application at the same time. This means you have to wait for the Appeals Council decision before you can file a new application. While you can always submit new evidence to the Appeals Council that the ALJ did not consider, the Appeals Council will only consider evidence that relates to the period before the ALJ made his or her decision. This means that in many cases, it makes more sense to simply refile a new application, continue to get more treatment, and gather new evidence to build a stronger case for your second application.

    So some factors to consider when deciding whether or not to appeal at this stage are: how have your conditions changed since you first applied is there new evidence of your conditions that does not relate to the period before the ALJs decision do you have new conditions that the ALJ did not consider in his or her decision or have your circumstances changed such that you will be able to start getting more treatment in the near future.

    How To File An Appeal

    Once your claim has been processed and we notify you that you are not eligible for Disability Insurance or Paid Family Leave benefits, you will receive an Appeal Form with your Notice of Determination for DI or a Notice of Determination for PFL.

    Complete the Appeal Form with a detailed explanation of why you think you are eligible.

    Mail your appeal to the return address shown on the notice.

    If the form is lost or misplaced, you can also send us a detailed letter. Be sure to include your:

    • Full printed name.
    • DI Claim Identification Number or EDD Customer Account Number.
    • Request for any language assistance or special accommodations.
    • Signature on the appeal letter.
    • Social Security number for appeals relating to PFL.

    We will evaluate your appeal. If we confirm your eligibility, payments will be made, if funds are still available on your claim.

    If your eligibility is not confirmed and we are not able to issue you payments, your appeal will be forwarded to the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board local Office of Appeals.

    The Office of Appeals will mail you a notification with your hearing date, time, location, and their phone number. At the hearing, an impartial Administrative Law Judge will listen to both sides of the appeal and make a decision based on facts presented by you and by a State Disability Insurance representative. If you fail to appear, your appeal will be dismissed.

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    What Percentage Of Disability Appeals Are Approved

    Even if you know you have a serious disability that prevents you from working, your claim for Social Security Disability benefits may still be denied. There are many reasons for the disapproval of disability claims, such as insufficient information or supporting documents with your application, or that the Social Security Administration believes your disability is not one that qualifies for benefits. Many find this process frustrating and difficult on their own and ultimately decide to hire a Social Security disability lawyer on a contingency fee basis.

    No matter what the reason for your disability denial, the good news is that the initial denial is far from a final decision. There are many opportunities to appeal a denial, and many appeals are successful. This is especially true if you seek help from a highly experienced Social Security disability lawyer as soon as you receive a denial.

    A lawyer can help you with the four different levels of appeals, which include:

    • Filing a Request for Reconsideration
    • Requesting a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge
    • Request a review by the Appeals Council
    • Filing a lawsuit in federal court

    Contact The Law Offices Of James Scott Farrin Today

    Appeal of Social Security Disability Claim

    Our Social Security Disability appeals lawyers understand how to pursue avenues to try and overcome denied SSDI or SSI claims. The head of our Social Security Disability team, Rick Fleming, is a North Carolina State Bar Board Certified Specialist in Social Security Disability Law, and he and his team have helped many clients successfully pursue their appeals and fight for Disability benefits.1

    Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation. There is no obligation and no attorneys fee unless you recover compensation.2 Dont leave your future to chance. You have the right to representation. Take back control and call us at .

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    Filing A Request For Appeals Council Review

  • If the client has a legal representative, the representative may file the request for an Appeals Council Review.
  • If the client does not have a legal representative or the legal representative chooses not to request an Appeals Council Review, and the client continues to appear to meet ABD disability criteria, the SSI Facilitator will assist the client with filing the written Appeals Council Review request.
  • The Appeals Council Review request must be filed within 60 calendar days of the SSI/SSDI Hearing denial and include:
  • A completed iAppeal
  • A signed and dated SSA-827 and
  • Any new medical evidence .
  • NOTE:

    Laporte Law Firm Has Over 40 Years Of Experience In Handling Ssdi Claims And Appeals

    We have helped thousands of clients get the benefits they deserve by successfully appealing their claims, and we can help you too.

    At LaPorte Law Firm, we know how stressful the SSDI appeal process can be. During a tough time in your life and having already had your application rejected at least once, you now also have to face the pressure of meeting strict deadlines for filing an appeal and doing so correctly.

    Our team of SSDI experts are here to help remove the burden and simplify the process for you. With decades of experience helping people win their cases and get the benefits they deserve, we will soon get you back on the road to success. We take on cases at all stages of the process, so regardless of how far along you are, do not hesitate to reach out to us.

    • If you would like to know more about the costs related to the Social Security Disability application or appeal process, you can view our Fees page.

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    Level : Appeals Council Review

    The third level of your disability appeal is to request a review by the Social Security Appeals Council. At this stage, you will not receive a new hearing. Rather, the Appeals Council will review all the lower decisions and decide whether to reverse the previous decision and approve your claim, let the ALJs ruling stand, or they may deny your request of review and remand the case back to an ALJ to review it again.

    Like the other three steps, this request must be initiated within 60 days of receiving your denial. It can take anywhere from six months to two years to complete this stage of the Social Security disability appeals process.

    Required Social Security Appeal Form

    The best way to request a review is by using the SSAs online service, AC iAppeal Online, but you can also fill out form HA-520 and send it to the SSA. You should also include any new evidence with this request or inform the Appeals Council that you and your representative will be providing new evidence.

    How Do I Appeal A Decision On Disability Benefits By Social Security

    Denied disability benefits, Tennesseans face long wait times to appeal

    If your initial claim for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income is denied, you have multiple opportunities to challenge that decision. And while pursuing an appeal can take months, even years, you do have some chance of succeeding. Among workers who were awarded SSDI benefits from 2010 through 2019, nearly a third were applicants who appealed after first being turned down, according to Social Security’s most recent annual report on the program.

    There are four stages in the appeal process.

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    What Is Disability Reconsideration

    When a claim for disability benefits is denied, the first step of fighting the decision is to file a request for reconsideration. The reconsideration process for disability claims involves a thorough review of your case and application. You have 60 days from the date you receive the denial of your SSDI application or SSI application to file a request for reconsideration. This request starts the reconsideration process for disability claims.

    The Disability Determination Services branch of the Social Security Administration performs the reconsideration process for disability claims. Rather than having the reconsideration completed by the same individuals who assessed your claim the first time, other individuals not involved in the original application review will do the reconsideration.

    Do I Need A Lawyer To Appeal A Denied Claim For Ssdi Benefits

    With your SSDI claim being denied, the last thing you need is the stress of navigating the confusing and daunting process of filing an appeal alone. What you need is a SSDI expert in your corner who can guide you through the process every step of the way. Although not a requirement, choosing to face the appeal process with the help of a lawyer who specializes in Social Security Disability law will greatly improve your chances of success.

    An SSDI lawyer can help you with:

    • Meeting the appropriate deadlines for appeals
    • Advice regarding the type of treatment to seek for your medical condition or when to get a second opinion in order to increase your chances of winning your case
    • Getting ready to testify in front of an administrative judge preparing you for the hearing
    • Preparing you for the types of questions local judges tend to ask based on years of experience and familiarity with local judges in their area
    • Being more confident in front of a judge, as being well-prepared is the best way to get rid of anxiety
    • Ensuring your medical records are up to date and submitted to the judge before the hearing
    • Submitting a legal brief to the court summarizing how your profile meets Social Security Disability law requirements

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    How Does My Ssdi Attorney Get Paid

    The Social Security Administration has rules governing how social security disability lawyers get paid for their services. When a lawyer accepts a case, he or she creates a contingency fee agreement. The agreement must be submitted to the SSA for approval. A contingency fee means the attorney gets paid only when you win your case and are awarded benefits. Once the agreement is approved, the SSA will pay your lawyer back. The SSA limits the amount your attorney can get paid to no more than $6,000 or 25% of your back pay, whichever is less.

    Applying for SSDI benefits is tedious, with many details to consider. Having one of our Alabama Social Security Disability lawyers on your side will not guarantee that your claim will be approved, but you will significantly increase your chances by having a skilled professional.

    Social Security: Ssd/ssi Appeals Reconsiderations Hearings

    Social Security Disability Appeals Process

    Local Social Security offices are offering in-person appointments and have resumed in-person service for people without an appointment. It is strongly encouraged to continue to go online, call for help, and schedule appointments in advance.

    For more information on How to Get Help from Social Security, visit the website:

    Link to the Social Security Administration website: www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices.


    Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income are administered by the Social Security Administration . If you are blind or disabled or over 65 years old, you may be eligible for one or both of these programs. Applications are submitted through your local Social Security office. Many applications are denied at first.

    If SSA denies your application for benefits, or decides that you are no longer eligible for benefits, or that the amount of your payments should be changed, you will receive a letter explaining their decision. If you dont agree with the decision, you can ask them to consider your case again.

    When and How Can I Appeal?

    Can Someone Help Me File an Appeal?

    Contacting a lawyer or calling a legal service group as soon as you ask for a hearing or case review helps your chance of winning an appeal, if you have a lawyer or advocate. Legal services lawyers know the rules and regulations and can help you get all the medical and other evidence you need to help win your appeal.

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    Having A Representative File An Appeal

    Claimants can choose someone, such as a long-term disability attorney, to help them with the appeal or represent them. The SSA will work with the representative just as it would work with the claimants. According to research, people with an attorneys help are more likely to win their appeals than those who choose to represent themselves. Therefore, people can give themselves a better chance of getting the assistance they need by working with a disability attorney.

    Hearing Before An Administrative Law Judge

    If DDS won’t change its mind, you can request a hearing with an administrative law judge , who will review the evidence in your case and also listen to your testimony and that of expert witnesses. To request a hearing, use the online appeal system or complete and send in a form HA-501.

    Be prepared for it to take a while to get a date: In November 2021, wait times in the country’s 168 regional Social Security hearing offices ranged from 5 to 15 months.

    Disability hearings generally last less than an hour but can run longer if there are multiple witnesses. Afterward, it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to get a decision. The approval rate for applicants at the hearing stage declined from nearly three-quarters in the mid-2000s to just under half in the mid-2010s but has ticked up to around 54 percent in more recent years, according to Social Security data.

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