Social Security Disability Appeal Levels

Social Security disability claims can involve multiple levels of appeals. An Indianapolis social security disability lawyer can help you navigate the complicated appeals process. The four primary levels of appeal are:

  1. The initial determination
  2. Reconsideration determination
  3. Hearing before an administrative law judge and
  4. Review by the Appeals Council.

After these four appeals are exhausted, a lawsuit may be filed in federal court.

Time Limit for Appeals

The time limit for a Social Security disability appeal is 60 days from the date of receipt of a decision. The courts presume that the decisions are received five days from the date on the face of the decision; thus, unless there is evidence to the contrary, the effective time limit to appeal is 65 days from the date of a decision. However, when a claimant appeals an ALJ denial to the Appeals Council after there has been a federal court remand, the time limit is 30 days instead of the usual 65 days.

Filed on the Day It Is Received

The Social Security Administration (SSA) also treats an appeal as filed on the day it is received by the SSA. However, the date used by the SSA is not the date a “request or notice is mailed to us by the U.S. mail, if using the date we receive it would result in the loss or lessening of rights.” Rather, “[t]he date shown by a U.S. postmark will be used as the date of mailing. If the postmark is unreadable, or there is no postmark, [the SSA will] consider other evidence of when you mailed it….”
If the deadline for making an appeal falls on a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday, or any other day of which all or part is a non-workday for federal employees by statute or Executive Order, the deadline is extended to the next full workday.

An Indianapolis Disability Lawyer Can Help

If you’ve been denied Social Security disability benefits at the initial or reconsideration levels, consider getting the help of an experienced Indianapolis disability lawyer. For a free initial consultation, fill out the form on this webpage to contact dedicated Indianapolis disability attorney Martin Barnes.