Filing an application for Social Security disability benefits is not a guarantee that you will be granted those benefits. In fact, fewer than 40 percent of first-time disability applicants will be approved for benefits. Fortunately, the SSA allows applicants who disagree with its decisions to request an appeal within 60 days of the date you received notice of the decision.

The appeals process generally begins with reconsideration for claims that were denied for both medical and non-medical reasons. For medical denials, you may file an online reconsideration request to have someone who was not involved with the initial decision review your application, in addition to any new evidence you submit. For non-medical denials, you can submit an online request for a non-medical reconsideration.

If you still disagree with the decision made by the SSA, you can request a hearing, which will be conducted by an administrative law judge within the vicinity of your home, or via video. Once the hearing is conducted and all evidence is heard, the judge will make a decision regarding your claim.

If you disagree with the judge’s decision, you may then request a review of the decision by the appeals council. If the appeals council finds that the decision requires an additional review, it will either send the case back to the administrative judge for another review or make a decision itself.

If your claim for Social Security disability benefits has been denied, there are many opportunities for you to have that denial overturned. An attorney specializing in cases involving SSD benefits can help you with every step of the application and appeals process.