Social Security Denials & Appeals

Social Security Denials and Appeals

Unfortunately most disability claimants will receive a denial letter after they file for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration.

The first step of appeals – Reconsideration (Recon) – have an even higher denial rate up to 85%. There are three or four levels of Social Security Disability Appeals depending on the state you live in, and unless (Recon) has been eliminated in your state, you must follow this appeal process.

Social Security Disability Denials

A denial does not mean that you cannot win disability benefits! Most initial disability claims are denied, because there is not enough medical evidence to prove disability, from this point you must appeal. Do not resign to giving up on a Social Security Disability claim. You have 60 days to appeal the denial. The sooner you appeal, the sooner Social Security will schedule a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, which gives you the best possible chance to win your disability claim.

Appealing Social Security Disability Denial Overview

First you need to understand is how the appeal process works – There are four levels of appeal: Reconsideration (Recon), Hearing, Council, Court

Reconsideration or Recon – is the first step to appeal in most states, within 60 days from the date of the denial. The denial percentage for Recon is actually higher, around 85%. Unless you have submitted new, medical information regarding your condition or if your condition has worsened, then your claim will more than likely be denied again.

If you live in the following states – Recon has been eliminated: Alabama, Alaska, California (LA North and LA West only), Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania. If you live in one of these states, proceed to the second stage of the appeal process: a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. This hearing must take place within 60 days from the date of the Recon denial.

If your case is denied by an Administrative Law Judge then move on to stage three of the appeal process – Appeals Council. The Appeals Council will review the Administrative Law Judge’s decision in search of errors or a technicality that was overlooked.

The Appeals Council will:

1. Reverse the judge’s decision and grant an approval
2. Find fault with the judge and demand a second hearing; or
3. Issue another denial

The fourth and final step in the appeal process for a disability claim is: file a suit in federal district court. This can only be done when you have completed Recon (if necessary in the state you live), Hearing and Council Appeal

Improve your chances of winning your social security disability appeal, or call our law office to speak with a case worker at

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