How Do I Appeal a Denial of My Social Security Disability Claim?

Was your Social Security Disability Claim recently denied? You aren’t alone. The Security Administration denies most Social Security Disability claims — around 65%. These claimants have to appeal their denial if they want to pursue Social Security benefits for their disability.

You can increase your odds of a successful claim by understanding the appeals process for SSDI and SSI claims. We discuss these appeals in more detail in the following sections. Contact a York Social Security disability lawyer for help filing your claim or appeals.

Why Does the SSA Typically Deny SSDI & SSI Claims?

The SSA denies claims when it believes the claimant is not eligible for benefits under Social Security laws and regulations. The most common reasons for a denial are:

  • An applicant does not have a “disability,” as defined by the SSA 
  • An applicant is working and earning income
  • An applicant provided insufficient medical evidence of their disability
  • An applicant neglected to follow their medical provider’s treatment plan
  • An applicant waited too long to apply for benefits

Fortunately, a denial of your claim is not the final word. You have the right to an appeal.

The Appeals Process for Social Security Disability Claims

You will have ample opportunity to appeal the denial of your SSDI/SSI claim — four opportunities to be exact. There are four stages of Social Security disability appeals: reconsideration, administrative hearing, Appeals Council, and federal court lawsuit.


You can request that the SSA “reconsider” its denial of your initial application. A different SSA employee will be responsible for the reconsideration decision. You can request reconsideration for medical reasons or nonmedical reasons for denials due to income, overpayments, etc. 

You can initiate your appeal for medical reasons here. You can start your appeal for non-medical reasons here.

Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)

If you are dissatisfied with the SSA’s reconsideration determination, you can appeal and ask for a hearing. An ALJ will review your claim and make a decision on your eligibility for disability benefits.

You can request a medical hearing here. You can request a non-medical hearing here.

Review by the Appeals Council

If an ALJ dismissed or makes an unfavorable decision on your claim, you may request a review from the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council. The Appeals Council will either grant or deny your request for review. 

If it grants your review request, it will do one of two things:

  • Deny or dismiss your request after finding the ALJ’s decision justified under Social Security law and regulations. 
  • Issue a new decision and return your claim to an administrative law judge for further review.

You can request an Appeals Council Review here.

Federal Court Review

If the Appeals Council denies, dismisses, or declines to review your appeal, it’s time to go to court. You will file a lawsuit in federal court challenging the Appeals Council’s decision. You will likely file this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for your region.

How Long Do I Have to File an Appeal of My SSDI or SSI Claim?

You will typically have 60 days to file an appeal of your claim denial. If you miss the deadline, you will likely be barred from appealing the SSA’s determination. A York Social Security Disability Lawyer can help you calculate the deadline in your case.

What Should I Do if My Social Security Disability Claim Was Denied?

You should contact an experienced lawyer. A Social Security Disability lawyer in York can explain your rights and options for an appeal. They can review your initial application and work with you to prepare the best appeal possible. Your attorney can help you get the review and benefits you deserve for your disability.

Contact Marzzacco, Niven & Associates in York, PA, to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim.

If you’ve been injured in a social security disability, please contact Marzzacco Niven & Associates at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:

Harrisburg Law Office
945 East Park Drive, Suite 103 Harrisburg, PA 17111
(717) 231-1640

York Law Office
2550 Kingston Road, Suite 210A York, PA 17401
(717) 995-8998

Wyomissing Law Office
833 N. Park Road, Suite 103, Room A Wyomissing, PA 19610
(717) 388-2325

Chambersburg Law Office
79 St. Paul Drive, Suite 1 Chambersburg, PA 17201
(717) 388-2378

Carlisle Law Office
354 Alexander Springs Road Carlisle, PA 17015
(717) 995-8732

Carbondale Law Office
30 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 101 Carbondale, PA 18407
(717) 995-8810

Lancaster Law Office
2173 Embassy Drive, Ste 123, Lancaster Pa 17603
(717) 616-2954

Lebanon Law Office
937 Willow Street, Suite D Lebanon, PA 17042-1140
(717) 995-8963