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Navigating the Social Security Disability Appeals Process in 2023

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If your claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits was denied, you’re not alone. As many as 70 percent of all initial claims for SSD benefits are rejected by the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, a denial doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road; you can file for a reconsideration and appeal a denied SSD claim.

We are here to explain the updated process and what you’ll need to know to appeal a denied SSD claim in 2023.

First, you’ll need to gather certain documents and evidence that supports your case. The SSA outlines all of the information you’ll need to file an appeal, which includes your name, address, Social Security Number, the date you received your denial, and your medical records.

Ssd appeals process

To start the appeals process, you have several options:

  1. Online: You can submit your request for reconsideration using the SSA’s online portal. Visit the SSA website and follow the instructions to submit your appeal.
  2. By mail: Fill out the required forms (such as the SSA-561, Request for Reconsideration) and mail them to your local Social Security office.
  3. In person: Visit your local Social Security office and submit the required forms in person.

Once you’ve submitted your request for reconsideration, an examiner will review your case and either uphold or reverse the previous decision. If your case is denied again, you can request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). To request a hearing, you’ll need to submit Form HA-501.

If the ALJ’s decision is still not in your favor, you have the option to request a review by the Appeals Council. You’ll need to submit Form HA-520 within 60 days of receiving the ALJ’s decision. The Appeals Council may either deny your request, decide your case, or return it to an ALJ for further review.

If your case is not resolved favorably by the Appeals Council, your final option is to file a lawsuit in a federal district court.

The policies that govern the SSD appeals process are complex, and having a Social Security Disability lawyer by your side during the claims process can help ensure your rights are protected at all times.


FAQ for Appeals Process

What Is The Social Security Disability Appeals Process?

To appeal a denial from the Social Security Administration (SSA), gather the necessary documents and evidence supporting your case, such as your personal information, denial date, and medical records. You can initiate the appeals process through various methods: online via the SSA's website, by mailing the required forms (e.g., SSA-561) to your local Social Security office, or by submitting the forms in person at the office. After submitting your request, an examiner will review your case and make a decision. If the decision is unfavorable, you can request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ) by submitting Form HA-501. If the ALJ's decision is still unsatisfactory, you can seek a review from the Appeals Council by submitting Form HA-520 within 60 days. The Appeals Council may deny your request, decide your case, or send it back to the ALJ for further review. If the Appeals Council's decision is unfavorable, your last option is to file a lawsuit in a federal district court.

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May 3, 2023

Written by TC Newlin

TC is a disability litigator and one of the managing partners in the Social Security Disability Department at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin. He has had the pleasure of helping thousands of people obtain the benefits they so desperately need.


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