Social Security Appeal -
Steps For Success

Do you want to file a social security appeal on your original social security claim? What steps should you take to file an appeal?

Time and process is important. It is best to understand what is required before you begin.

If you don't agree with the decision on your social security claim or the Social Security Income (SSI) claim, then you can appeal. The SSA will examine the entire original decision, even those parts that were in your favor.

Timing and Process - How and When?

You must make your request for an appeal in writing within 60 days from the date you received the letter from the SSA, which is assumed to be 5 days from the date of the letter. Make sure that your original claim was correct. Verify social security number and other data.

If your claim was for medical reasons and was denied, an appeal can be submitted through the SSA website,


How Many Social Security Appeal Levels Are There?

There are four (4) appeal levels as follows:

  1. Reconsideration - Someone who did not participate in your first decision will make a complete review of your claim. Usually, you do not have to be present. If the appraisal is for disability benefits, you can meet to explain why you still qualify.

  2. Hearing - You can ask for a hearing if you disagree with the reconciliation decision. An Administrative Lay Judge (ALJ) who had no part in the reconciliation or original decision will conduct the hearing.

    You can review all information, in your file before the hearing. You are allowed to submit more evidence.

    The ALJ will question you and your witnesses. You can question any witness that appears. It is best to attend the hearing in person or via video conference.

  3. Appeals Council - You have the right to ask for a review by the Appeals Council, if you disagree with the hearing process. The Council looks at all requests but may deny to hear any, if it feels the decision was correct. You will be advised of the results in writing.

  4. Federal Court - The appellant has the option to file a lawsuit in a federal district court, if the Appeals Council did not review the case or you disagree with their decision.

Your Benefits Might Continue During Appeal

You may ask for benefits during the appeal, if

  • You disagree with the decision that your medical condition is NOT disabling, or

  • You disagree that your are no longer eligible for SSI benefits or that they should be reduced or suspended.


You can get a representative to help you during the process with your social security appeal. Contact the SSA if you have any questions.


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