Do I Need a Lawyer For a Social Security Disability Appeal?

Many people who become disabled due to a sickness or injury believe that they will be entitled to disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Unfortunately, 70 percent of disability claims are initially denied and it is necessary to file an appeal. Working with a disability lawyer may help increase the chance of your appeal being approved.

Why Should I Work With a Lawyer For My Disability Appeal?

If you want to win your appeal you should ensure you work with a disability attorney who understands the appeals process and will gather the right evidence to present at the appeals court to help get the disability benefit you deserve.

The evidence your disability appeal lawyer will use to help win your claim may include the following:

  • your medical records;
  • your doctor’s opinions.

Do I Need a Lawyer For a Social Security Disability Appeal?

How Does a Lawyer Help the Appeals Process?

Typically, there are four levels to a social security disability appeal. They are the following:

  • reconsideration;
  • hearing by an administrative law judge;
  • review by the Appeals Council;
  • Federal Court review.

If your application for disability benefit is denied, you will be sent a letter informing you how to appeal.


This is a review of your claim by a person who was not involved in the original denial. The evidence will be evaluated and any new evidence regarding the extent of your disability which your social security disability appeal lawyer will gather on your behalf. If you and your attorney don’t agree with the outcome of the reconsideration you may go onto the next stage which is requesting a hearing in the presence of an administrative law judge.

Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)

Before the hearing takes place you and your disability lawyer will need to provide even more evidence proving your disability entitles you to disability benefits. It may be necessary to provide witnesses such as a medical expert that knows about your disability. Your social security disability lawyer may question your witnesses which may help the ALJ reach a favorable decision.

Review by the Appeals Council

If you disagree with the ALJ’s decision, you may be able to request a review by the Social Security’s Appeals Council. The Appeals Council assesses all requests for reviews but if it agrees with the ALJ decision it may refuse to allow you to progress for a review by the Appeal’s Council. However, if it decides to get your case reviewed the Appeals Council will review your case and make its own decision.

If the Appeals Council’s decision doesn’t work in your favor, you may be able to file a lawsuit in a federal district court. You will be told how to do this in your Appeal’s Council decision and your disability lawyer will help you with this stage of the social security disability appeal.

Get Help Today

If you are filing an appeal and would like to speak with a lawyer, complete the Free Case Evaluation. Most social security disability appeal lawyers do not charge upfront legal fees but work on a contingency fee basis so you don’t need to pay until your social security disability appeal lawyer has won the appeal for disability benefits.

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