What do I do if my claim has been denied?

It is not unusual for a claim to be denied at the initial application process. Even if your claim is initially denied, you still have a good chance of receiving benefits by appealing. It is important to take note of time limits in which to make your appeal.

There are four different appeals available to you if you initial claim is denied:


This is where your initial claim was denied and you Request Reconsideration. This can be done electronically or by paper and sent to your local Social Security Office. Once completed, Social Security will send your case to the State Disability Determination Services office. At that office, someone will review your medical records and decide whether your claim should be approved.


If your reconsideration is denied, you should complete a Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge. This can be done electronically or by paper and sent to your local Social Security Office. Social Security will then send your request to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. A hearing will be set in front of an Administrative Law Judge. This is the point where it is especially important to have an attorney working on your case. At the hearing you and your attorney will present testimony. Your attorney will prepare you for the hearing and present the Judge the strongest case possible. Our disability attorneys work to update your medical files and present favorable reports to the Administrative Law Judge. Further, our disability attorneys will prepare questions for the Vocation Expert that testifies at the hearing.

Appeals Council Review:

To appeal an unfavorable Administrative Law Judge's ruling, the next step is to file a request for Review of Decision/Order of Administrative Law Judge. This cannot be done electronically. It must be done at your local Social Security Office.

District Court Case:

If the appeals council denies your request, the last step is to file a case against Social Security in District Court where a district court judge will consider your case and notify you in writing of the decision on your case.

As you can see, the process is long to appeal a claim. On the other hand, there are several different chances for your claim to be approved and for your to get a favorable ruling. Our social security attorneys are available to help you understand the process. Call us today at 515-955-2193 or 855-955-2193 to discuss your case.