Understanding the Social Security Disability Appeals Process

By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

If you have had your claim for Social Security Disability benefits denied, it is important that you understand how the appeals process works. A Los Angeles disability benefits lawyer can provide the help you need to navigate the process of appealing a benefits denial so you can maximize the chances of being able to obtain the income you need. 

How Does the Social Security Disability Appeals Process Work?

When you receive notification that your application for Social Security Disability benefits has been denied, you have a limited amount of time to take action. There are multiple different stages of appeals that your claim can ultimately end up going through, but the first step is to submit your request for reconsideration by the deadline.

When you submit a request for reconsideration, a different disability claims examiner looks at your application. Hopefully, this review of your documentation and information will result in a different outcome so you will be approved for benefits after the first stage of appeals. 

If you receive another benefits denial, the next phase is a disability benefits hearing. It can take around a year for this hearing to actually take place, and you may have to attend in person or via video conference depending upon where you live. You’ll have the chance to present evidence backing up your claim for benefits to an administrative law judge (ALJ), which is a judge that works for the Social Security Administration. 

If your benefits claim is still denied after the hearing, you can appeal to the appeals board that is part of the Social Security Administration and can ultimately appeal to federal court in the final stage of appeals.

A Los Angeles disability benefits attorney can help you with every step in the process by assisting you in meeting deadlines and presenting evidence to maximize the chances of your claim being approved. Contact an attorney as soon as you can when your claim for benefits is denied. 

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts is the managing attorney for Disability Advocates Group. She opened Disability Advocates Group to assist individuals who became disabled and unable to work to obtain the benefits they need and deserve.  Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.