Appealing a Claim

Appealing Denied Claims

Guiding You Through Claims & Appeals

If your application for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is denied, you will receive written notice of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) decision on your claim. You must respond to this notice with a signed request if you wish to appeal the decision.

The SSA will contact you for additional information, such as your disability report or medical records, to review your appeal. Our Appleton Social Security lawyers can help you collect the updated and complete information you need to support your claim for SSD benefits. Don’t face your appeal alone—call Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Pitz & Burkham at (877) 888-5201 or complete a free initial consultation form.

The 4 Levels of Appeal

There are four chronological steps in the appeals process. If you disagree with the SSA’s decision on your claim at any stage of the appeals process, you have the right to request that your claim be reviewed at the next step of the appeals process.

  1. Reconsideration
    Once you have completed a Request for Reconsideration form and an Appeal Disability Report, the SSA will send your claim to Disability Determination Services, where someone will review your medical records and make a determination on your claim.
  2. Hearing
    After you complete a Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge and an Appeal Disability Report, the SSA will send your claim to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, and you and your Appleton Social Security Lawyer will meet with a judge to talk about your claim. The judge will then issue a decision.
  3. Appeals Council Review 
    For appeals council review, you have to sign, complete, and send the Request for Review of Decision/Order of Administrative Law Judge to your local Social Security office. The SSA will then transfer your claim to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, where your medical records will be reviewed and a decision will be made on your claim.
  4. District Court Case
    You must have an attorney represent you at this stage of the appeals process. Your attorney will file a case against the SSA in District Court, and a district court judge will hear your case and make a determination on your claim.

3 Reasons Why SSD Claims Are Denied

You’re not alone if your SSD claim was denied. More than half of all initial SSD are denied. Three common reasons why the SSA denies claims for disability benefits include:

    1. Expected Recovery Time
      SSD benefits are intended for people with disabilities expected to last longer than one year or result in death. You will not qualify for benefits if you’re suffering from an acute injury or short-term condition.
    2. Income and Resources
      To qualify for SSD, claimants cannot engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA) and must make less than a certain amount of money per month. If you make more than the limits set by the SSA, you may not be eligible for SSD benefits.
    3. Failure to Follow Doctors’ Orders
      The SSA may deny SSD benefits to claimants who fail to pursue treatments, therapies, or medications that can help them return to work. Including all of your treatment records with your SSD application can substantially improve your chances of getting benefits.

    Contact Sigman Janssen today to learn how our Appleton Social Security lawyers can help build a strong appeal on your behalf.