Step 4: Appeals
If your disability claim is denied after the hearing with the administrative law judge, you may request a review of your case by the Appeals Council. Appeals are mostly based on the existing case evidence in your file. Therefore, it is important to have all of the necessary evidence included prior to the appeals process.
Ideally, people will already be working with a lawyer before they reach this stage of the process. However, if you have been going through the SSD/SSI process by yourself until now, call the Disability Rights Law Center today at 213-784-4386. We offer free consultations.
Options for Appealing Your Denial
If the administrative law judge turns down your case at the hearing, you have two options to appeal the denial:
- Request a review by the Appeals Council
- Take the case to Federal court
The Appeals Council
You have 60 days after your claim is denied at the hearing to request a review by the Appeals Council. Do not miss this deadline. It is advisable to work with an attorney at this stage if you are not already doing so.
The Appeals Council will examine your request for review. The council may determine that the hearing decision was correct, or it may deny your request. If you are granted a review by the Appeals Council, it may decide the case itself or send it to an administrative law judge for further review.
If the Appeals Council denies your claim or if they decide not to review your case, you can then file a lawsuit in a federal district court. There is a 60-day deadline from the appeals denial for filing a lawsuit in federal court.
If you decide to take your case to federal court, be sure you hire a lawyer with experience in federal court. Please call our Los Angeles office at 213-784-4386 to schedule an appointment.