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Levels of SSDI appeal

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2020 | Social Security Disability

Did you receive a denial when you applied for Social Security Disability Insurance? You have the right to file an appeal. However, you must do so within 60 days of getting a denial letter in the mail.

These are the levels of appeal available for the SSDI program.


With this process, another person from the Social Security Administration will do a thorough review of your application. He or she was not involved in the initial review. You can also submit new evidence to support your application at this time. Reconsideration is available for both medical and non-medical denial.

Administrative law judge hearing

If reconsideration results in a denial, you can ask for a hearing with an administrative law judge. He or she will review your case either by video conference or in person within 75 miles of your home. Like reconsideration, you can request a hearing for both medical and non-medical denial.

Appeals Council review

If you disagree with the results of the hearing, you can ask for a review by the Appeals Council. However, the council can deny the request if they find that the judge’s decision followed applicable SSA guidelines. Otherwise, the Appeals Council will either send your case back through the administrative hearing process or conduct an internal review.

Federal Court review

When you receive a denial from the Appeals Council, you have the right to file a lawsuit in federal court. You must do so within 60 days of the Appeals Council denial, however.

At each step in the process, you can file an appeal request online. You also have the right to attorney representation as you appeal an SSDI decision.