Overcoming Obstacles: A Comprehensive Resource on Disability Denials and Appeals

Social Security (SSA) wants to be sure that every decision made about your disability (Social Security Disability or SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application is correct. They carefully consider all the information in your case before making any decisions that affect your eligibility or your benefit amount. When making a decision on your claim, they will send you a letter explaining decision. If you do not agree with Social Security’s decision, you can appeal — that is, ask Social Security to look at your case again. When you ask for an appeal, they will look at the entire decision, even those parts that were in your favor. If our decision was wrong, they will change it.

When and How Can I Appeal My Disability Denial?

If you were recently denied Social Security benefits for medical or non-medical reasons, you may request an appeal. Your request must be in writing and received within 60 days of the date you receive the letter containing the SSA’s decision. You can call the Social Security Administration and ask for the appeal form (Form SSA-561). The fastest and easiest way to file an appeal of your decision is by visiting SOCIAL SECURITY APPEAL FORM. You can file online and provide documents electronically to support your appeal. You can file an appeal online even if you live outside of the United States.

How Many Different Appeal Levels are there?

Generally, there are four levels of appeal. They are:

How Can I Increase My Chances of Being Approved?

Many people handle their own Social Security appeals with free help from Social Security. But you can choose a lawyer, a disability advocate, or someone else to help you. Someone you appoint to help you is called your “representative.” The SSA will work directly with your representative just as they would work with you. Your representative can act for you in most Social Security matters and will receive a copy of any decisions we make about your application. Your representative cannot charge or collect a fee from you without first getting written approval from Social Security. If you want more information about hiring a disability representative, click FIND A DISABILITY REPRESENTATIVE to get started.

Latest News & Tips