A Second Chance: The Disability Benefits Appeal Process

If you apply for disability benefits and are denied, there is a formal process for applicants who want to appeal the decision. Most people are denied initially, so if you are unable to work, we strongly suggest that you appeal the denial decision.

  • The first appeal is called reconsideration. The applicant will fill out a Request for Reconsideration and an Appeal Disability Report. These will be sent to your local Social Security office, where an employee will reevaluate your case and inform you of the office’s decision.
  • If you are denied on reconsideration, you can request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. You have the opportunity to meet face to face with a judge regarding your case, and the judge will later notify you of the decision in writing.  At every stage of the process, you are more likely to get benefits with the help of an attorney.  However, it is particularly important to have an attorney represent you at your hearing.
  • If you are denied by the Administrative Law Judge, you can appeal the decision to the Appeals Council.  You can file the appeal with the Appeals Council yourself.  However, you are much more likely to be successful with the assistance of an attorney.
  • If you are denied by the Appeals Council, you can file a lawsuit in Federal Court.  As with the other stages of the process, you could attempt to take this step by yourself, but attempting to do so would be very unwise.  The assistance of an attorney is very necessary at this stage of the process.

The appeals process for gaining the right to Social Security disability benefits can seem arduous and frustrating. If you are disabled due to injury or a condition, contact a Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers to help you get the benefits you need.



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