Clear & Honest Answers
To Questions About Your Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income Benefits

Attorney Shawn Taylor

Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability Appeals

Getting approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is a notoriously difficult process. Only a small percentage of initial applications are approved. Thankfully, there is an appeals process, and many people are able to obtain benefits on appeal.

At Shawn Taylor, PLLC, a disability law firm in Charleston, our lawyer helps people get the benefits they deserve. He handles all stages of the process, from the initial application through appeals.

Here are some common questions we hear about Social Security Disability appeals.

How soon do I have to appeal a denial?

If your initial application was denied, you generally have 60 days to file an appeal. You must do so online or by mail.

What do I need to do to prepare a strong appeal?

You will need to submit updated medical information reflecting any changes or new medical conditions. You will also have an opportunity to submit supporting documentation. If you’re considering an appeal, talk to an attorney first about the best angles for challenging the decision.

What are the steps in the appeals process?

There are four stages to the appeals process for SSD benefits:

  • Request for reconsideration: At this stage, you are asking an examiner at Disability Determination Services to reconsider your application. Your case will be assigned to a different examiner than the one who issued the denial.
  • ALJ hearing: This is your first and most important opportunity to present your case in person before an administrative law judge (ALJ). It’s important to prepare thoroughly for this hearing and to have an attorney with you.
  • SSA Appeals Council: If the ALJ denies your case, you have one more level of administrative (noncourt) appeal. However, the Appeals Council can only overturn the denial or remand your case (send it back to the ALJ) for limited reasons.
  • Federal court appeal: If the SSA Appeals Council wrongly denies your case, you can seek review in a West Virginia federal district court. Getting a decision overturned in court is very difficult, however, so it’s critical to talk to a lawyer about your appeal.

Have More Questions?

We have answers. For more guidance on SSD appeals, please contact our firm online or call 304-932-4619. We offer free 30-minute phone consultations.