Law Offices of Terri D. Mason, P.C.


What To Do if Denied a Social Security Disability Claim

social security disability claimBeing denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) does not mean you are permanently disqualified from gaining acceptance into the program. You have the right to appeal your claim denial and convince the decision makers at SSDI that you are indeed eligible and in need of financial assistance.

Why Is Your SSDI Claim Denied?

There are multiple reasons why you get denied Social Security Disability insurance. You may feel that your need for SSDI is reasonable, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) reviewers may disagree and deny your claim. The reasons for denial include the following:

You will get an initial denial if any of these issues apply to your situation. However, you should still learn how to appeal SSDI denial because you may still be able to get benefits or prevent your eventual SSDI or retirement benefits from decreasing.

What To Do Before You Make an Appeal

Before you appeal, talk to disability lawyers in MD and let them help you determine the reason(s) why you are in claim denial. It can take years for the disability appeal process to play out. Putting your case in the hands of a lawyer with experience in SSDI denials ultimately helps you improve your chances of getting accepted into the program.

Four Levels of the SSD Appeal Process

After your initial SSDI claim denial, you can appeal the decision through several steps. Here is what you can expect from the four levels of the disability appeal process.


You have 60 days from the date of your denial to file a request for consideration. The Disability Determination Services in MD reviews your decision after you make your request, and you can have an in-person conference with the representative and your lawyer. If the representative denies your claim, you can have your lawyer request an administrative hearing in front of a judge.

Administrative Hearing

The request for an administrative hearing has to be filed within 60 days of the date of your denial letter. As part of the disability appeal process, your case will be heard by an administrative law judge. The judge reviews the evidence you want them to consider and listens to any witnesses you bring. 

If you have retained a disability lawyer for the denial process, your lawyer advocates your case to the judge clearly and concisely, which helps your case. If the administrative law judge denies your appeal or does not date your benefits far back enough, you can appeal the decision to the Appeals Council.

Appeals Council Review

The Appeals Council reviews the evidence submitted to the administrative law judge but will not hear new evidence. If the Appeals Council finds the administrative law judge was in error, it will overturn the denial into approval or send it back to the judge for another decision. The Appeals Council may also confirm that the administrative law judge’s ruling was correct.

Federal District Court

Suppose the Appeals Council upheld the decision to deny your claim. In that case, your case can be appealed to the federal district court for further review and have the opportunity to correct errors made at the lower levels. A brief that explains why you are appealing your claim denial at this level is required by the court, something that your disability lawyer can do on your behalf.

Terri D. Mason is one of the top-tier social security disability lawyers in Maryland, ready to help you overcome your SSDI denial and get you on track to receive the benefits you need. Get in touch with us to learn more about how to appeal an SSDI denial, and let us review your case to find out how we can help you.