It can be extremely disappointing to find out that an administrative law judge has denied your appeal for Social Security disability benefits. It can also be very difficult to know whether or not to continue to appeal your disability case at the next level or to consider your other options.

If you do indeed decide to appeal your case to the Appeals Council, here’s what you need to do:

  • Act within 60 days. The Social Security Administration (SSA) gives you two months (plus the five days they assume it takes you to receive your notice) to ask for an appeal. If you don’t ask for an appeal during this timeframe, the Appeals Council will likely dismiss your case without hearing it.
  • Request a hearing review in writing. Fill out a request review form (which you can either find online or request over the phone) and mail it to the Appeals Council, which is located in Falls Church, Virginia.
  • Request hearing records if needed. In appealing your case, you may wish to review your administrative law judge hearing and the evidence that was heard.
  • Be sure to include any extra information or evidence with your hearing review request. The Appeals Council tends to choose cases for review that have compelling evidence or in which an administrative law judge hearing was not conducted correctly. Be sure this information is included with your request.
  • Don’t get disappointed. The Appeals Council doesn’t review all the cases that land on its desk – in fact, they dismiss many claim hearing reviews for a number of reasons. If they decline to review your claim or if they review and reject your claim, you still have legal options, such as filing a civil suit in a federal district court.
  • Get professional legal help. Even if you made it through your administrative law judge hearing without an attorney representing you, this may be an ideal time to get experienced legal help from a Texas disability attorney. For more information about how a disability lawyer can help you with you appeal, Call Morgan & Weisbrod today at 800-800-6353.
Carl M. Weisbrod
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Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law
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