What Should You Do If Your Social Security Disability Claim Is Denied?

With millions of Americans suffering from physical and/or mental disabilities and unable to work, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a welcomed resource. Unfortunately, around 70% of all disability claims end up denied.

If your claim has been denied, it is important that you do not lose hope. Contact a knowledgeable Social Security Disability Lawyer in Morris to help you appeal your decision and fight for the benefits you deserve.

Next Steps

If you’re considering appealing your Social Security Disability denial in Morris or the surrounding areas, the first thing you should do is speak with a disability appeal attorney. At Hanson & Fisher, we’re well versed in the appeals process and will represent you from start to finish Contact us today for a free consultation.

When the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies your claim, they’ll send you a letter explaining their determination. You generally have 60 days after you receive this letter to file an appeal. So, don’t delay, call Hanson & Fisher as soon as you can.

There are four levels of appeal with the SSA:

  • Request for Reconsideration.
  • Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
  • Request for Review at the Appeals Council.
  • Federal Court Civil Action.


A reconsideration is a complete second review of your claim handled by someone at the SSA who was not part of the first determination. The Social Security Administration will look at all evidence you already submitted, as well as any new evidence you may have.

This leads to our biggest piece of advice we can offer: find new supportive evidence. If your medical condition changes in any form, it is important to include this in your appeal. New medical evidence can help you receive a new decision on your case because it will give the evaluator more reason to believe you’re disabled and need the benefits.

Another form of evidence that can weigh heavily in your case is the opinion from your treating doctor. Have your current doctor fill out a residual functional capacity form, which documents new or worsening issues that are beneficial to your case.

Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge

If you disagree with the determination the SSA made, you may request a hearing with an ALJ. The judge will be someone who played no part in the initial decision(s) on your case.

Additional medical evidence and testimonials should be collected for this appeal, as well.

Request for Review by the Appeals Council

The Council will look at all requests for review but may deny if they find the ALJ hearing decision is in accordance with social security law and regulations.

If your case is reviewed, they will either decide the case themselves or return it to an Administrative Law Judge for additional review.

Federal Court Civil Action

If the Appeals Council’s decision isn’t what you hoped for, or they decide not to review your case, you can file a civil suit in federal district court. Visit the SSA’s Federal Court Review Process online to learn more.

Contact Hanson & Fisher Today

We know the application and appeals process for benefits can be confusing and difficult to manage. That is why you need a social security disability lawyer to help you navigate through the entire case. Visit us online or call us at (815) 942-6700 to request your free consultation.

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