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Disability Benefits

Social Security Appeals Process

If your Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) were recently denied, you may request an appeal. Generally, you have 60 days after you receive the notice of the decision to ask for any type of appeal. There are four levels of appeal:

  • Reconsideration.
  • Hearing by an administrative law judge.
  • Review by the Appeals Council.
  • Federal Court review (please see the bottom of page for information on the Federal Court Review Process).

You can request an appeal online for a reconsideration, a hearing by an administrative law judge, and a review by the Appeals Council, even if you live outside of the United States. When they made the first determination on your claim, they sent you a letter explaining their determination. This letter contains guidance on what level of appeal you should select.

To learn more about each appeal level, visit Information About Social Security's Hearings and Appeals Process.

Appeal forms are available for download at You can also call the toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), or contact your local Social Security office to request appeal forms be sent to you.