Appealing the Denial of a Social Security Disability Claim

If you have a debilitating injury or illness that keeps you from working, but your application for Social Security disability benefits has been denied, you’re not alone and you’re not out of luck. Statistics show that more than half of all Social Security disability claims (53%) are initially denied. However, research also shows that nearly half of those denials are overturned on appeal.

Filing an Appeal
The Social Security Administration routinely makes errors when evaluating Social Security disability claims. In many instances, the agency simply lacks enough information to conclude that you are unable to be gainfully employed.

To initiate the appeal process, you must submit an appeal form within 60 days of receiving written notice of the denial of your claim. The deadline is extended to 65 days if you received the notice in the mail. The initial appeal is technically known as a Request for Reconsideration, but you will also have to complete and file what is known as a Disability Report—Appeal (Form SSA-3441-BK).

The forms will ask that you provide reasons why you believe you were wrongfully denied benefits. If you choose, you can include medical reports or additional information from your employer or a doctor to bolster your case.

When Your Appeal of a Social Security Disability Claim is Denied

The denial of your Request for Reconsideration is not the end of the line. That appeal is generally informal, done without a hearing in the local Social Security office.

If your initial appeal is denied, you have the right to request a hearing before an administrative law judge, someone not affiliated with the local Social Security office. You have the right to be represented by counsel at that hearing, and to introduce evidence and testimony to support your claim.

If the administrative law judge denies your claim, you can submit an appeal to the Social Security National Appeals Council in Washington, DC. If that appeal is rejected, you still have the right to file a lawsuit in federal court.

Experienced Social Security Disability Attorneys in New York

At Pyrros & Serres LLP, we handle all matters related to Social Security disability claims for people in Queens and across the greater New York City metropolitan area. Because of our reputation for effective advocacy, many of our new clients come to us as referrals from clients and other lawyers.

To learn more about the full scope of our practice, see our workers compensation and social security website.