If we recently denied your Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application, you may request an appeal. Generally, you have 60 days after you receive the notice of our decision to ask for any type of appeal. There are four levels of appeal:
- Hearing by an administrative law judge.
- Review by the Appeals Council.
- Federal Court review (please see the bottom of page for information on the Federal Court Review Process).
You can request an appeal online for a reconsideration, a hearing by an administrative law judge, and a review by the Appeals Council, even if you live outside of the United States. When we made the first determination on your claim, we sent you a letter explaining our determination. This letter contains guidance on what level of appeal you should select.
To learn more about each appeal level, visit Information About Social Security's Hearings and Appeals Process.
Request a Reconsideration Online for a Medical Determination
If we recently denied your disability claim for medical reasons, you can request an appeal online.
A reconsideration is a complete review of your claim by someone who did not take part in the first determination. We will look at all the evidence submitted used in the original determination, plus any new evidence.
Request a Reconsideration Online for a Non-Medical Determination
If you received a non-medical determination letter from us that you disagree with or we denied your application for a reason that is not disability related, you can request a non-medical appeal online. Non-medical reasons may include a denial due to income, resources, overpayments, or living arrangements.
Check the Status of Your Reconsideration
Whether you filed your appeal online, by mail, or in an office, you can check the status of your disability and SSI Reconsideration using your personal my Social Security account. A my Social Security account is an easy, convenient, and secure way to do business with us. If you don’t have one, you can create one today.
Request a Hearing Online
If you disagree with the determination we made at the reconsideration level, you may ask for a hearing. An administrative law judge who had no part in the original determination or the reconsideration of your case conducts the hearing. You may request a hearing online.
When we schedule your hearing, we consider what’s convenient and close for you. We usually schedule hearings within 75 miles of your home. In certain situations, your hearing may be held via video at one of our many available hearing sites, in person at one of our hearing offices, or from your preferred location.
After you submit your request for a hearing, you’ll receive a confirmation package that explains the hearing process. In that package, you’ll have the choice to opt-out of having your hearing by video. Video hearings have the same look and feel as in-person hearings. If you’re comfortable with having your hearing either in-person or via video, you don’t need to send in that form. We’ll find the first available day and time for your hearing, at a location that’s convenient to you. We’re committed to providing you quality customer service and the flexibility we offer with scheduling your hearing is just another way we’re able to meet your needs.
Check the Status of Your Hearing
Whether you filed your request for a hearing online, by mail, or in an office, you can check the status of your disability and SSI hearing using your personal my Social Security account. A my Social Security account is an easy, convenient, and secure way to do business with us. If you don’t have one, you can create one today.
Request an Appeals Council review of a decision or dismissal made by an administrative law judge
The Appeals Council looks at all requests for review, but it may deny a request if it finds the hearing decision is in accordance with social security law and regulations. If the Appeals Council decides to review your case, it will either decide your case itself or return it to an administrative law judge for further review. If you disagree with the hearing decision, you may request a review by Social Security’s Appeals Council online.
If you disagree with the Appeals Council's decision, or if the Appeals Council decides not to review your case, you can file a civil suit in a federal district court. This is the last level of the appeals process. Currently, filing a Federal Court review is not available online. To learn more about this process, visit Federal Court Review Process.
Appeal forms are available for download at www.ssa.gov/forms. You can also call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), or contact your local Social Security office to request appeal forms be sent to you.