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The Appealing Process of Disability

Disability is certainly not appealing. No. This article addresses the appeals offered to Social Security disability and SSI claimants after all levels of decisions, except for the last, federal district court. When a claimant loses in federal court, options are to either give up or start a new claim for monthly disability benefits and back pay.

Reconsideration (recon) is the first appeal available to a disability claimant in most states. A recon may be requested within 60 days after the initial claim is denied. However, the recon review step has been eliminated in the following states:

  • AlabamaThe Appealing Process of Disability
  • Alaska
  • Parts of California
  • Colorado
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania

ALJ hearings otherwise known as a hearing before an administrative law judge is the second appeal available in most states to a disability claimant. This appeal may be requested within 60 days after a recon is denied.

Review by the Appeals Council of an ALJ’s decision is the third type of appeal available to a disability claimant. During this appeal, a judge’s decision may be reviewed for technical errors or more substantial errors such as failing to consider medial evidence. Options available to an appeals council include:

  • Reversing a judge’s decision and thus granting approval
  • Finding fault with a judges case and ordering a second hearing otherwise known as REMANDING
  • Issuing another denial

A suit filed in federal district court is the fourth and final appeal available to a disability claimant. This option is available when a case has been denied by the Appeals Council.

For more on this topic see also:

Five Things Social Security Won’t Tell You

How Many Work Credits Do I Need for SSDI Eligibility?

If My Doctor Says I Can’t Work, Shouldn’t that be Enough to Qualify for Benefits?