Appealing the Denial of Your SSDI Benefits Application

Filing an application for SSDI benefits can be a rather frustrating process, especially to learn later on that you have been denied.  Don’t give up however, as you may still have a chance of obtaining these benefits.  While a large number of applications are initially denied, a good percentage of them are reversed when brought on appeal.   For instance, nearly 50% of all SSDI denial decisions are changed post-appeal.  Of course, if you are truly ineligible to receive SSDI, you should probably think twice before going through the appeals process. However, with the amount of applications that the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) receives on a monthly basis, they are undoubtedly going to make mistakes.  Therefore, it is important to consider that when you appeal your case, it is your chance to have the SSA or the courts take another look at your case and hopefully, to process and/or judge it in your favor.

How long do I have to file an appeal?

While you should definitely review all of the documentation that you receive from the SSA, you generally have sixty to sixty five days after you receive written notice (depending upon whether you received the letter via regular mail) that your SSDI application has been denied.

How long does the appeals process generally take?

Sometimes, an appeal can involve simply clarifying certain questions posed by the SSA regarding your initial application. In other cases however, you may be asked to provide a significant amount of evidence, including medical records, etc., to help substantiate your SSDI claim.  Overall, the amount of time that the appeals process takes depends upon why the SSA is denying your application and what the types of evidence that they need to validate your claim.

How do I appeal the denial of my SSDI claim and what information should I include?

In order to appeal the initial denial of your SSDI claim, you must complete a Form SSA-561-U2, which is to Request for Reconsideration of your claim.  In the event that you are appealing a denial of disability benefits, you will also need to fill out Form SSA-34410-BK (entitled “Disability Report – Appeal”).   If you are appealing a decision by the SSA to stop benefits that you have regularly been receiving, you will need to fill out Forms SSA-561-U2 and SSA-3441-BK.

Keep in mind that the aforementioned forms, all available at, ask for very specific information, such as your name, social security number, and also, the reasons why you feel that you were unjustly denied benefits.  You also have the option of providing additional information to help the SSA render a decision about your case, such as pertinent medical records or a letter from a treating physician or former employer regarding your alleged inability to work.

Should I hire an attorney to help me?

While an attorney is not required to apply for SSDI benefits or to challenge the SSA’s denial of your claim, it is highly recommended, nonetheless, that you consider working with one.  As evident from the above, the SSDI application and appeals process can be rather daunting, especially for those that are truly disabled and unable to work.  Only an attorney who knows the ins and outs of the SSDI benefit application and appeals process can truly give you the best chance of prevailing on your case.

Accordingly, we at the Sanger Law Office have the experience and skills necessary to review your application for SSDI benefits prior to submission, assist you in submitting a request for reconsideration of a denial, or represent you in a formal appeal of your denial of SSDI benefits. Ms. Sanger provides thorough analysis of her clients’ medical records and zealous advocacy to assist her clients in obtaining the benefits they need to care for themselves and their families. The Sanger Law Office is centrally located in Lawrence, KS and represents those denied social security disability benefits in Kansas and Missouri. If you have been denied SSDI disability benefits or just have questions about your rights to SSDI, you should contact Danielle Sanger today for a free consultation at 785-979-4353.  We look forward to helping you get the benefits that you deserve.