What to do After You've Been Denied Social Security Disability Benefits

a denied disability letter/form with someones hand writing on it

a disability claim letter/form with someone filling it out


t’s no secret nobody likes to stand in line at government buildings, but if your benefits get denied, it’s a different story.

If you were denied disability benefits by the Social Security Administration, you might feel like there’s not much you can do. However, you do have options.

Read on to learn what you can do if your benefits are denied.

1. Ask for Reconsideration

Although it might seem like the end of the road if your disability benefit gets denied, you can ask for reconsideration.

You will need to reach out to the Social Security Administration and ask for them to give your application a second look. Your case will be taken into consideration by a different person than before.

You should also know some states don’t allow you to file for reconsideration and make you request a hearing instead.

These states include Alabama, California, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Alaska, Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.

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2. Request a Hearing

If the original request and the reconsideration of disability benefits get denied, the next step is to request a hearing.

You must request the hearing within 60 days of receiving the denial letter. An administrative law judge will review your case during the hearing and make a decision based on the evidence provided.

About half of the requests that go through the hearing process get approved. In case of another denial, the next step is to appeal.

3. Try The Appeals Council

The Appeals Council is the third resort if you want to overturn a denial. The council will typically review the paper file and make a decision.

It’s important to note the Appeals Council will side with the judge’s decision most of the time. Unless they find a huge discrepancy such as abuse of discretion — the decision was made without substantial evidence, or other extreme circumstance — the council will not approve the benefits.

4. Take it to Federal Court Review

If you have done everything possible to have your claim approved on a local level, you can take it to the Federal Court for review.

Know this will be your last resort to get your disability request approved. Since Federal judges will hear your case without a jury present, you should get a lawyer.

The federal judge assigned to your case will most likely check for legal errors, but some do base their ruling on factual questions.

Don’t go in thinking it will be a quick an easy process.

5. Helps to Have a Lawyer

While it’s recommended to have a lawyer if you take your case Federal Court, it helps to have one from the beginning.

A lawyer will help you gather evidence from the beginning, prepare your application, and better prepare you for the hearing. They are familiar with medical disability terms also.

Had a Denied Disability Benefit? You Can Do Something

If your Social Security Disability Benefits were denied, there are steps you can take to get it approved.

File a reconsideration, request a hearing, try the Appeals Council, or take it to Federal Court.

Were you wrongfully denied disability benefits? If this is the case get in touch with us for a free consultation.