How to Start an Appeal for Social Security Disability

Post by: Eric Jones | Posted Date: September 16th, 2014 | Categories: Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) will send you a letter if they deny your request for benefits. The next step is to appeal. There are four main levels of appeal:

  • Reconsideration
  • Hearing by and Administrative Law Judge
  • Review by the Appeals Council
  • Federal Court Review

Once you have been denied for benefits, it may be time to find a Columbus, Ohio disability lawyer.


Reconsideration involves a complete review of your claim by someone who did not take part in the first decision. SSA will look at the evidence submitted when the decision was first rendered and any new medical evidence. Most of the time, you do not have to be present for reconsideration.

Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge

If SSA denies your claim at reconsideration, then you can request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. At the hearing, you have a chance to present your case. Many claimants choose to have an attorney represent them. Hearings are usually held within 75 miles of your home.

At the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge will question you and any witnesses you bring. You will also have a chance to present any new medical evidence. The hearing gives you a chance to explain your case.

After the hearing, the Judge makes a decision based on all of the information in the case. The Judge also considers all the new information.

Appeals Council

You can appeal an Administrative Law Judge’s decision to the Appeals Council. You have 60 days to appeal and Administrative Law Judge’s opinion. When appealing to the Appeals Council, you write a letter to describing why the Administrative Law Judge got the case wrong. A lot of the argument at this level discusses the legal reasons why the Administrative Law Judge was incorrect.

It usually takes 12 months for the Appeals Council to make a decision. During that time, you cannot reapply for disability benefits.

Federal Court

If you disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision, you can appeal your case in federal court. If you appeal in federal court, a federal judge will hear your case and decide whether the Administrative Law Judge made any legal mistakes.

The attorneys at Jones Law Group have significant experience working on Social Security Disability Appeals. We can help you with your case if SSA denies you benefits. Get in touch with our Columbus, Ohio Social Security Disability appeals attorneys today if you would like to learn more about our legal services. Call (614) 545-9998 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with our team.

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