Understanding The Levels Of Social Security Disability Appeals

If your claim for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is initially denied, don’t lose hope. Several levels of appeal can be explored to reach a more beneficial resolution. Since 1986, Fox & Fox Co. L.P.A. has been dedicated to guiding clients through the process of receiving the benefits they are owed for disability.
Depending on your specific case and the level of appeal you find yourself at, we can clearly explain your options and provide the honest guidance you need. From our Amelia and Cincinnati offices, we can guide clients through any level of the appeals process.

What Are The Different Levels Of Appeal?

From the time you fill out your initial application and submit it to begin receiving benefits, you will likely face a frustrating and worrisome time. If your initial application for benefits is denied, you can potentially pursue four levels of appeal.
  • Request for reconsideration: If your initial application for Social Security Disability benefits is denied, a request for reconsideration must be submitted within 60 days. The request for reconsideration means that your application will be reviewed by someone other than the official who initially turned you down.
  • Hearing by an administrative law judge (ALJ): If the request for reconsideration is denied, a request for a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ) must be filed within 60 days. The ALJ will evaluate all the evidence on record, including any additional evidence brought to the hearing, and then render a decision. Preparation of your case and your testimony is important at the ALJ level.
  • Review by the Appeals Council: If the ALJ also denies your claim, we may request that your case be reviewed by the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council. This is the last administrative decision level. The Appeals Council renders Social Security’s final decision.
  • Federal court review: If the Appeals Council declines to review your case, the last step may be to file a lawsuit against Social Security in federal district court. Federal court appeals typically center on procedural issues rather than medical facts — no new evidence is presented and no testimony is permitted. It can take a year or longer to receive a decision from the judge.
With more than 85 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys are prepared to help Ohio clients no matter the complexity of the SSD situation they are facing. When you need honest answers and clear guidance from an experienced lawyer, schedule a free initial consultation by calling either of our offices or sending us an email through this website.