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Appealing Denials Before The Social Security Disability Appeals Council

Facing a denial at the ALJ hearing stage can be disheartening, but it’s crucial to understand that it is not the end of the road for your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), approximately 35% of all disability appeals are eventually approved, making it critical for denied claimants to persistently push forward in seeking benefits.

If you were denied benefits at an ALJ hearing, there are further steps you can take, and with the right guidance, you can still pursue the benefits you rightfully deserve. Call The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt today to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can support you through the SSA Disability Appeals Council review. We also encourage you to read through the following article to learn more about the Appeals Council process.

The Crucial Next Step: Appealing to the Social Security Appeals Council

When an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) denies benefits during a hearing, applicants can escalate a case to the Social Security Appeals Council. This council is specifically designed to review and assess the decisions made by judges during hearings. Their role is to ensure that justice prevails, and they hold the authority to modify or overturn the ALJ’s decision.

Given the complexity and heightened stakes of this stage, partnering with an experienced disability advocacy team, like The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, becomes even more crucial. Our experienced SSDI appeal attorneys can provide invaluable insights, advice, and representation to ensure your case is presented in the best possible light. 

What Types of Outcomes Can Occur After Appearing Before the Social Security Disability Appeal Council?

The journey with the Appeals Council can be intricate, and it’s essential to be prepared for various outcomes. The council can:

  • Grant a benefits claim, ensuring an individual receives the SSI, SSDI, or both disability benefits they have been seeking.
  • Uphold the ALJ’s denial, requiring an individual to consider further appeal options.
  • Remand a claim back to an ALJ for a new hearing, offering another chance to make a case for benefits.

Having a case sent back to an ALJ for another hearing can be a golden opportunity. With the insights gained from the initial hearing and the expertise of our legal team, clients are positioned for a stronger presentation, potentially leading to the life-changing benefits they need.

While a hearing denial can be a setback, it’s far from the final word on a disability claim. With persistence, the right strategy, and experienced legal support from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, disability applicants can continue to champion their rights and seek the benefits they rightfully deserve.

Don’t navigate the complexities of the SSDI appeals process alone. Reach out to us today and let our dedicated team guide you every step of the way. Schedule a free consultation with an experienced SSDI appeal lawyer.

Social Security Disability Council FAQs

How long do I have to appeal a denied claim to the Social Security Disability Council?

After receiving a notice regarding the decision of a claim, applicants typically have a 60-day window to initiate any form of appeal. To determine this timeframe, it’s generally assumed that an individual will receive a notice within five days of its mailing date, unless evidence suggests a later receipt.

If an appeal isn’t filed within this 60-day period, the Appeals Council has the authority to dismiss it. Such a dismissal could limit an applicant’s options, potentially barring future appeal stages or further reviews.

However, if there’s a valid reason causing a delay beyond the 60-day mark, it’s essential to provide an explanation when filing an appeal. Should an individual miss the deadline, it is crucial to justify the delay and request an extension for the appeal period. The final decision on whether to grant this extension rests with the Appeals Council.

How Can An Individual Request An Appeals Council Review? 

If you received a hearing decision and wish to contest it, it is essential to request an Appeals Council (AC) review promptly. The window for this request is 60 days from the receipt of a hearing decision.

  • iAppeal Online Appeals Application. An online appeal can be initiated through the Appeals Council Request for Review (iAppeals i520).
  • Manual Submission of Request for Hearing Review/Order. If preferred, applicants can download and fill out the HA-520, Request for Review of Hearing Decision/Order Form. Once completed, the form can be mailed directly to the Social Security Administration Office of Appellate Operations.

For clients of The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, the process is even more streamlined. If you receive a denial at the ALJ stage, simply reach out to us. We’ll take care of initiating an appeal through the SSDI Appeals Council on your behalf, ensuring that your case is presented effectively and timely.

What Should I Do If My SSDI Appeal is Denied at the Appeals Council Review?

If you find that the Appeals Council has either issued an unfavorable decision or has declined to review a judge’s verdict, and you’re in disagreement with their stance, additional appeal options are available. Claimants can initiate a civil action with the U.S. District Court in their locality. It’s crucial to act promptly, as an action must be filed in the U.S. District Court within 60 days of receiving the Appeals Council’s notice.

If you were denied benefits at the Appeals Council review stage and would like to pursue a federal court appeal, please contact us to schedule a free consultation with an experienced SSDI appeal attorney.


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