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Navigating the Disability Appeal Process: A Roadmap from Denial to Triumph

Updated: Jan 8

After applying for Social Security disability benefits, it is possible to receive a denial. However, this does not mean the end of the road. Social Security provides an appeal process that allows applicants to challenge the decision and seek a reconsideration. In this blog post, we will explore the social security disability appeal process.


1. Reconsideration:

The first step in the appeal process is reconsideration. You have 60 days from the date of the denial letter to request reconsideration. During reconsideration, a different examiner reviews your case, including any new evidence you provide. It's important to submit any additional medical records, test results, or other relevant documentation that supports your claim. Be sure to include a detailed explanation of why you disagree with the initial decision.

2. Administrative Law Judge Hearing:

If your claim is denied during reconsideration, you can request a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This request should be made within 60 days of receiving the reconsideration decision. The ALJ hearing is an opportunity for you, your representative, and any witnesses to present evidence and testimony to support your disability claim. The ALJ will review your case, consider the evidence, and make an independent decision.

3. Appeals Council Review:

If the ALJ denies your claim, you can request a review by the Social Security Appeals Council. The request must be made within 60 days of receiving the ALJ's decision. The Appeals Council will review your case and can decide to approve your claim, deny it, or send it back to the ALJ for further review. The Council may also decline to review your case if it agrees with the ALJ's decision.

4. Federal Court Review:

If your claim is denied by the Appeals Council or the Appeals Council declines to review your case, you have the option to file a lawsuit in federal court. This step involves presenting your case to a judge who will review the decision made by the Social Security Administration. The judge will determine if the decision was based on substantial evidence and in accordance with the law.


The social security disability appeal process provides applicants with a chance to challenge a denial and have their case reconsidered by different levels of review. It is essential to carefully follow the deadlines and provide additional evidence to strengthen your claim. Seeking assistance from a disability attorney or representative can be beneficial during the appeal process. Remember, persistence and thoroughness can significantly increase the chances of a favorable outcome in your disability claim.


©2023 Noel Anschutz / Professional Advocates, Inc.



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