Assisting Clients Across California Since 1993

Social Security Disability appeals process

Many people in the Sacramento area have had to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. These benefits are there for those who are no longer able to work due to a disability. But sometimes the application does not get approved, and a claim is denied. But just because a claim is denied doesn’t mean it is a hopeless situation. There is an appeals process for denial of Social Security Disability benefits.

Request for reconsideration

The first step in the appeals process is requesting the original claim to be reconsidered. This is a complete review of the original claim and:

  • it takes place at the Disability Determination Services level.
  • It is completed by a medical professional and examiner who were not part of the original decision.
  • 10-15% of reconsideration claims are granted benefits.
  • If the claim is denied again, there is a next level of appeal.

Administrative Law Judge Hearing

If a request for reconsideration is denied, a person may appeal further by requesting an administrative law judge (ALJ) hearing. An ALJ is an attorney who works for the Social Security Administration Office of Hearings Operations and their job is to review denied claims. They typically grand almost half the claims they review.

Appeals Council

If a person loses at their disability hearing they can request that the Appeal Council reviews their application. Typically, the Appeals Council looks for a flaw in the ALJ decision. Most of the time the only reason to file a request with the Appeals Council is to exhaust all of the Social Security administrative procedures before going to federal court.

Federal Court

A person can file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court. Typically, a judge reviews the case for legal errors but may also review factual evidence as well. This can be an expensive and time-consuming option.

A legal professional who is skilled in Social Security Disability can help their client through the Social Security Disability appeals process. They understand their client needs these benefits and will work hard to make sure their case is resolved in a manner that is beneficial for their client’s needs