Phone: 856-429-1700
Fax: 856-429-4269


What Happens If You Are Denied Social Security Disability?

Man Stressed Over MoneyIt’s common knowledge that most people who file a claim for Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income initially have their claims rejected. The good news, though, is that many of those denied claims are approved on appeal. So how does the appeals process work?

In most states, the Social Security disability appeals process if a four-step process:

  • Reconsideration
  • A hearing before an administrative law judge
  • A review by an appeals council of the administrative law judge’s ruling
  • A suit filed in federal district court


A reconsideration may, in states that allow it, is typically a formality, where a claims examiner takes a second look at your application for benefits. Most reconsiderations are also denied, but they are generally a requirement to get a hearing before an administrative law judge. New Jersey still allows (and requires) a reconsideration.

Appeal to an Administrative Law Judge

Generally, an appeal of the reconsideration must be filed within 60 days of denial of a claim. The Administrative law judge (ALJ) will take a new look at your claim, and will consider any new evidence you may have to support your claim. In addition, the ALJ may seek testimony from you or from medical or vocational experts.

Review by the Social Security Disability Appeals Council

The Appeals Council will look at your claim to determine if there were technical or substantive errors, and take any one of a number of measures:

  • Overturn the ALJ’s ruling
  • Deny your claim
  • Send your claim back, with instructions to consider certain evidence

A Filing in Federal District Court

This is your final avenue of redress and can only be done when the Appeals Council has denied your claim.

Contact Aronberg & Kouser, P. A.

At Aronberg & Kouser, P. A., our attorneys have more than 35 years of experience protecting the rights of men and women in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. For a confidential meeting, contact us online or call our office at 856-429-1700. Your first consultation is free of charge.

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