Learn about the Social Security Disability Appeals Process

Need Help with Your SSD Appeal? John Bales Attorneys Can Help.

More than half of all initial Social Security Disability (SSD) applications are denied. Fortunately, you have the right to appeal the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) decision. John Bales Attorneys may be able to help you with your appeal.

If you have any questions regarding your appeal, contact our Social Security Disability attorneys today. Complete a free initial consultation form or call us toll free at (800) 225-5564. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

4 Levels of Appeals

The average amount of time needed to process a hearing request is approximately 1 year. There are 4 levels of appeals, so if your claim is denied at one level, it could take even longer to get benefits. Our Social Security Disability lawyers will work diligently to reduce the time it takes the SSA to process your request.

Your claim may pass through these levels:

    • ReconsiderationBy requesting reconsideration, you are asking the SSA to reconsider the denial of your benefits. An independent Disability Determination Services (DDS) representative will reevaluate all the evidence in your claim and consider any new evidence that you submit. This representative will make a decision on your claim.


    • Hearing Before an Administrative Law JudgeIf you do not agree with the DDS decision, you may request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). This judge will question you and your witnesses about the effect your disability has on your daily activities. If you hire John Bales Attorneys, we will be present during your hearing.The ALJ usually takes 30 to 60 days to issue a decision after the hearing. The amount of time varies from case to case depending on factors, such as:
      • Additional information required after the hearing
      • New evidence received after your hearing, but before you receive a decision
      • The ALJ determining that a supplemental hearing is necessary
    • Appeals Council ReviewIf you still feel the SSA has reached an incorrect determination on your eligibility, the next step is to request review by the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council may reject your request for review, make a decision on your claim, or return it to an ALJ for further review.


  • Court CaseIf your benefits are denied following a review by the Appeals Council, you may choose to file a court case against the SSA in federal district court. You must file for civil action in a federal district court within 60 days of:
    • Receipt of the Appeals Council’s notice of denial of your request for review of the ALJ’s decision
    • Receipt of the Appeals Council’s revised decision

John Bales Attorneys is here to guide you through the Social Security Disability Appeals Process. If you have any questions, contact our Social Security Disability lawyers today. We want to help you get the resolution you deserve.