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What is a Social Security Appeals Council review, and what can I do if the Appeals Council denies my claim?

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Learn about Social Security Appeals Council reviews after a hearing denial, when to file a simultaneous new claim, and filing suit in Federal court.

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Watch the Video: "What is a Social Security Appeals Council review, and what can I do if the Appeals Council denies my claim?"

How to Appeal Your Hearing Denial

If your claim is denied by an Administrative Law Judge at the hearing—or you receive an only partially favorable hearing decision—and you wish to pursue your claim further, you can appeal one more time within the Social Security system. This appeal is called a Social Security Appeals Council review.

You must appeal to the Appeals Council within sixty days so that Appeals Council receives your appeal within sixty-five days of the date on your denial letter or notice of partially favorable decision. Send your request directly to the Appeal Council’s office in the State of Virginia. You can get the address and instructions on how to request the review by calling Social Security’s toll-free number (800) 772-1213, from your local Social Security office, or from Social Security’s website, www.ssa.gov.

Appeals Council Review Processing Times

The Social Security Administration does not offer statistics about the average length of time the Appeals Council takes to complete its review, but it is quite a long time, sometimes exceeding two years.

The Appeals Council Review Process

The Appeals Council can take a variety of actions on your request. It will look at your claim, the Administrative Law Judge’s hearing decision, and your appeal. It may then decline to review your case if all procedures were followed and decision appears reasonable. It may review the case and uphold the ALJ’s decision, or it may look at the evidence and approve your claim. Lastly, if the Council thinks that an error may have been made, it may send your claim back to the same law judge for further investigation and a second hearing. This is called remanding your claim. You can find more information about remanded claims in our article “What Happens if the Social Security Appeals Council Orders a Second Disability Hearing?”

A New Disability Claim While Your Appeal Pends

If you were still insured for Social Security Disability benefits on the date that your hearing appeal was denied, which is the date shown on your hearing Notice of Decision, you can file a brand-new disability claim. The new claim will be processed while your request for Appeals Council Review is being processed. If you do file a new claim, you must show your hearing denial date as the first date you became disabled. If your new claim is approved, benefits will start in the sixth full month after the hearing was denied. If your Appeals Council Review is approved, you will get back pay based on your first original application. It is possible to be approved on both the new claim and the Appeals Council Review. A lawyer who is versed in Social Security Disability law can be helpful with effectively filing a new claim and with forming your appeal.

Filing Suit in Federal Court

If the Appeals Council chooses not to review your claim or reviews and determines you are not disabled, you have the right, at your own expense, to sue the Social Security Administration for benefits in the Federal District Court.

For information about the levels of appeal that lead up to a Social Security Appeals Council review, see our articles “I Was Denied Social Security Disability. What Can I Do?”, “What is a Social Security Request for Reconsideration?”, and “What is a Social Security Disability Hearing and What Can I Expect When I Request a Disability Hearing?”

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78 Comments

  1. daleyoung says:

    I got six letters,in them they state that I have the write to file a civilbaction,was told this means my case is sent to O.A.or A.A.J/Last letter states AppealsCouncilAction/My name -socialunderneathwageearner——–then my social,it states the appeals council has received additional evidence in Wichita they are making part of file.What do I do?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dale, because of the apparent complexity of your claim status, I suggest that you call DisabilityAdvisor at 1-888-393-1010 (where you can get legal guidance at no cost) to speak with a Social Security attorney about the correspondence you have received.

  2. daleyoung says:

    If I have write to file civil action was told mybcase will be sent to O.A.or A.A.J/for review and approval/last letter is whanting my signature as wage earner and they say they have recueved additional evidence.Exhibit/15/e/need free advise broke three vertabrea and have three titanium plates in neck,hip,knee,and eye surgeries.Thank God thatbim able to walkand not paralyzed,D.I.insured still no money

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dale, please see my response to your previous comment in which I recommend that you call DisabiltyAdvisor at 1-888-393-1010 for assistance.

  3. larryYoung says:

    My case is very complex.Talked to g overnment said they where waiting on sign off to get my benefits.Im still skeptical and frigjtned.I should have never ben denied.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Larry,

      It can be difficult to wait for a decision, especially when you have to appeal. It might be reassuring to find out from Social Security what actions still need to be taken to complete work on your claim and an approximate date they expect completion.

      The Disability Advisor

  4. june says:

    i went to my hearing8/28/13!!!! i have not gotten a letter saying i was denied or approved yet???

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear June,

      The guideline is for judge’s to render a decision within sixty days, which would just now have passed. However, sometimes it takes longer. You could contact the hearing office to find out if the decision is still pending or has been made and is being typed up to send you. (They will not tell you what the decision is over the phone.)

      Best regards,

      Kay

  5. Wesley says:

    If my lawyer filed suit citing many flaws of the ALJ and the appeal council chose not to review my file, How long should it take to get a reply [reversal or date]? I’m in north AL, but lawyer is in Birmingham

  6. What is concerted disabling disabilities?

  7. Excuse spelling. I was trying to ask what is considered a disabling disability. Example an bad back or sciatica,etc.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Debra,

      Any medical or mental condition can be disabling according to Social Security law if it is so severe that it has limited you or is expected to limit you from performing Substanial Gainful Activity (SGA) for twelve months. (Usually substantial work is work in which you can earn $1,040 gross earnings per month.) In determining whether you can perform SGA, the Social Security Administration (SSA) compares your limitations and the abilities that you retain with the kind of work you have done in the past (and if you are under age fifty, any other kind of work that you would be able to perform given your limitations, education, and transferable skills from your past work experience.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  8. Robin S. Hoppes says:

    Kay,
    My claim was filed in September of 2011 and denied of course. I had my ADJ hearing in Jan.2013. An unfavorable decision was rendered. I filed to have a review by the appeals council, and waited.I made sure my request was received. My original conditions I have been being treated for include Congestive Heart Failure, COPD, Chronic Hypertension, Kidney Failure, Headaches, Dizziness, Loss of breath,Heart murmurs, and Major Deppresive disorder, Anxiety. I was diagnosed with depression and was being treated for it at the time of my hearing, but it was never addressed. This is what I requested the AC look in to.
    On October 31 ,My cardiologist diagnosed me with Hypertrophic Cardiomyapathy, and it was confirmed ten days later. My Dr. referred me to Stanford HOCM center to discuss what she felt would be my options, to possibly improve my quality of life. I have an MRI scheduled and will talk to the surgeons at that time. I think I will choose the Septal Myectomy, (open heart surgery).
    My Physciatrist is also an MD and she is a very special person,she has contacted the AC and my file has been flagged as critical. We now are putting together updated records for them to review. We feel that my heart condition had been misdiagnosed up until now. The symptoms I have been dealing with have been more serious than anyone except me have known.
    What my question is. 1.The issue of my unaddressed deppression, is now secondary to my newest diagnosis.So which should be used. 2. Will my recently diagnosed condition and upcoming open heart surgery even be available to use? 3. Would I be better to just file a new claim based on my heart condition, even though I’ve been dealing with it as something less serious ?
    Any help would be great, Thanks Robin

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Robin,

      Social Security will consider all your conditions so there is no need to choose one over another. You do want to make the appeals council aware of all the changes in your health and new diagnoses. The planned surgery will be considered to the extent that it is an indication of the severity of your condition.

      Many people file a new claim concurrently with appealing to the appeals council. If you were still insured for Social Security on the date of the judge’s denial letter, you can file a new claim, claiming the date after the date of the denial. If your claim is for Supplemental Security Income, of course there is not earnings credit requirement and you could file a new SSI claim. Social Security will both process your new claim and continue to process your appeals council review.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Robin S. Hoppes says:

        Kay, thank you for your reply. At the time I first filed my claim, I applied for both SSI and SSID and I am covered until the 31st of this month. Also my age is 50 years old I’ll be 51 the 10th of next month. So it looks like I had better get to my SSI office to file a new claim. What could it hurt, I guess ? I am not being represented by a lawyer, since my Dr. is personally helping me by sending copies each visit I have with all my doctors. She also is following up almost daily on my claim and it’s status. My Dr. is representing me like she was a lawyer, only her reward is for me to be approved so I can have the surgery. Thanks again for your help.
        Robin

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Robin,

          Thanks for the update. Yes, it could be worth your while to apply again now that you are fifty years old because your residual abilities will now be compared only to the requirements of occupations you have performed in the past, not all occupations.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

      • Monica says:

        I was told by many lawyers that if you are denied by administrative law judge and waiting to see what appeals council will say that you cannot file a new claim while waiting and I was reading this in the comments about you can do that while waiting on appeals

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Monica,

          You can file a new Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim while the Appeals Council is reviewing your appeal. You must claim a date of disability after the date of the judge’s denial letter. You can also file a new Social Security Disability (SSD) claim if you were still insured for SSD benefits on the day after the date on the judge’s denial letter. You can pursue the new claim(s) with appeals if necessary. If either the original claim or the new claim is approved while the other claim is pending, Social Security will review to see if the approval decision on one claim affects the review of the other.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

          • Monica says:

            So just to make sure I understand I am still insured for ssdi until dec 2015 so while they are reviewing my claims since it was denied at the adminstative law judge and I have other things that has happened to me and was hospitilized so I can still put in a new application while the appeals council is reviewing my claim and I am just confused as to why my lawyer assistant told me I could not do this and I live in Virginia I am just wondering why he did not inform that I could put in a new application why they are reviewing this

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Monica,

            Thank you for following up with me. It has come to my attention that there has been a change in the law and I gave you incorrect advice. It is correct that you cannot file a new claim while your claim is pending at the Appeals Council. You will want to submit the new information about your new condition and hospitalization to the Appeals Council. They will not consider the new information in their review, but it will establish that your condition has changed. Then if your appeal is denied again, you can file a new claim with a new later incurred date, perhaps the date that you began to have new additional health problems.

            Sincerely,

            Kay

  9. Angela says:

    Hi kay, I applied for disability june 2013 for heart arrhythmia. However feburary 2013, I had a grand mal seizure. when I submited the application for disability that
    that was added to the application. 10 days later after applying for ssid which was june 25,2013. I started seeing a neurologist he told that i could not drive for 6monts ai had to report it the dmv. But i could continue to work. After that i had a seizure on july 28th in which I couldn’t continue to work due to the type of work I was doing. Per my doctor, since then started having petit mal seizures 4 or 5 times a month. The last gran mal seizure was september 2013, ect. When I appealed the decesion at the social security office. I was told that the application didn’t show anything about the seizures. The doctor has since then increase my medication. Can you help with this please?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Angela,

      Is your appeal still pending? If so, you need to see that your medical records that document your seizures get to Social Security as soon as possible. It could also be helpful to hire legal assistance for your appeal, especially if your first appeal was denied and you are now requesting a hearing. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Hello Kay, Thank you for responding back. I spoke with someone from social security on Thursday. I was told that I would get a letter this week and that’s all that they could tell me. I’m trying so hard to remain positive about it. I would like to add that my neurologist gave me an additional 6 or 7 months off because the seizures are coming more. I’ll keep this number to contact the lawyers if need. lastly, I’ll let you know the outcome of it. Again thank you for your response. Angela

  10. Angela says:

    Hello Kay, thank you fir replying back. I was told on last week that I would receive a letter from social security this week. I spoke with someone from my neurologist office she stated to me that my neurologist report that I was having more seizures and how often.

  11. Angela says:

    Hello Kay, I was denied again for social security. They feel that I’m able to work with my condition. which I totally disagree. the type of work that I do requires driving. the last job I had, I was driving about 43 miles round trip 5 days a week. when the seizures started coming more I had to cut down to three days. once I had a gran mal while at work…. I had to stop working and my doctor is aware of all of this …… social security spoke with the client that witness me having a gran mal seizure….I have no clue when a seizure is coming on. they denied me for my heart condition. so I re-appealed it for the seizures only. when I received a letter today I notice they contacted my cardiologist. why would they do that??? that has nothing to do with the seizures…… the only things that I can think of is that they may be going by the old information from when I first applied. either my neurologist is not reporting everything. I keep records of all the seizures. I will get a copy of my doctor report from the neurologist and contacting a lawyer. Is it possible for them to be looking at the information from when I first applied?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Angela,

      Apologies for the late response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      When you appeal, the entire file is reviewed. The examiner might have contacted your cardiologist to clarify something that he or she thought was not clear in your file. When you get an attorney and appeal, as you indicated, it is a good idea to get all your neurology records, including any log you have of the frequency and severity of your seizures.

      Just a note: To be eligible for benefits, if you are under fifty years of age, you must be medically unable to perform any occupation that you could reasonably otherwise perform, not just occupations you have performed in the past.

      Best regards,

      Kay

    • Monica says:

      Hello Kate is there anyway you can give me some advice which this will be kind of long but here it goes
      I had my hearing on Dec 11 with Adminstrative law judge and he did not ask me any questions except my address well my lawyer was thrilled due to after hearing he said it went so well that the only thing the judge will do is to so start onset at a certain date and the vocational judge told the judge that I could not do any of my previous jobs in the past and the 3 that she went over said that with my conditions I could not even do them I would be fired so she said I could not even work. Well my date was dec 11 and I got a notice dec 24 and this was due to since I have not worked since 2010 but my brother filed ssdi for me in 2012 due to me being in denial but I have been seeing my psychiates and doctors and my doctor even on letter that judge ruled she said I was not able to work at all. But my lawyer said I would get a decision in about 3 to 6 months but I guess I was just finding out that due to my brother whom has been supporting me financially and my kids in order to get things speeded up he had wrote letters to senators that speeded things up and get this the senator wrote and emailed my brother saying he contacted the judge and showed it and said he will be back in contact with him. Well from my brother talking to some of his friends and one that is a lawyer he said my brother should not of contacted senator due to it pissed the judge off due to my case was great and I have even the judge put it on paper I have a long history of treatment with my doctors well he ruled unfavoriable and I think this was due to senator calling and it takes a while to get a decison back and my date was dec 11 and I got a letter dec 24 with his decision and the judge said alot of lies in this which he said I was not creditable and he did not even ask me any questions which was so confusing and then he said I have a long history and it seems like he did not even care what my experieced doctors had to say they said I could not even work and even the vocational judge ruled in my favor so all my brothers friendds was saying to him that he pissed the judge off and that is why he did what he did when I called my lawyers they were even shocked they were like really are you sure which they had not got the papers yet but they were also shocked that the decision was also so quick so now they are writing up something to either repramand or appeal now I am more depressed due to I am reading on how even if it goes to appeal they can deny it And I am just lost can someone please help due to my brothers friend was like I can later or my brother can file something against the judge due to the vocational judge said I cannot work the jobs and my doctors said I cannot work I am just so burned out and lost and would hate to start all over due to my credits expire I found out dec 2015

      Just to add on to this to let you know more about this that I think the judge was upset over Senator calling because in decision of unfavoriable he went on to say even though the vocational expert said that even though I have a college degree I could not do any of my past jobs and the 3 that she found I could do said that with my medical conditions I would not be able to do those 3 and would be fired. So on the letter this is what he said After carful consideration of the entire record the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform work at all exertional leverls provided the workd does not involve more than occasional contact with coworkers, supervisors, or the genral puplic due to limitations. Now I am so confused because the vocational experet even said that I could not do the 3 that she found so I am confused as to why the judge even went against her and the only think is that the senator called him and he got pissed off and rushed my decsion so I am wondering if my lawyer appeals this will they listen to the tapes and the vocational expert who said I cannot work the 3 jobs and will they listen to him not even asking me nothing when he listed me as not being crediable and he did not ask me anything except my address? Please help and advice I am so depressed on this. Is there a chance to win due to my lawyer has appealed to appeals council due to he said I have a strong case and also I have now been in and out of the hospitals

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Monica,

        To approve you, the judge has to decide that you are limited as you claim and, if so, that you cannot work given your limitations. I believe the central issue to the judge’s decision as he wrote it is that he did not believe you were as limited as you and your doctors said.

        The Appeals Council will review to see whether they think the judge’s decision was reasonable and correctly arrived at. It not, they will remand the appeal to the judge with a request that certain factors be more thoroughly investigated or considered. The Appeals Council review can take from a year to two years.

        It is possible to file a new claim while the Appeals Council review is in progress. To do so, you must claim a date of disability at least one day after the date of the judge’s denial letter. You can pursue the new claim(s), appealing any denial if necessary. If either the original claim or the new claim is approved while the other claim is pending, Social Security will review to see if the approval decision on one claim affects the review of the other. I suggest that you discuss this option with our attorney.

        Sincerely,

        Kay

  12. Mary Ann Fecht says:

    Hi Kay,
    I was wondering if you could tell me how long it takes to hear the results from a hearing with a ALJ my hearing was Nov 8, 2013 in Lincoln, Ne. Maybe I am being impatient. A friend told me I would hear by the end of the month that the judges want all there cases closed by then. Is there any truth to this.

    Thanks for your time
    Mary Ann Fecht

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mary Ann,

      Apologies for the late response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      The guideline is for judges to render a decision within sixty days, though it often takes longer. If you haven’t heard withing ninety days, you might call the hearings office to find out whether the decision is still pending or is in the letter writing unit, meaning a decision has been made.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  13. Debra says:

    Hi Kay:

    I applied for SSI Disability in Dec 2011 with an onset date October 2010. I was denied at the first level and reconsideration level. I then hired an attorney for an ALJ hearing. My attorney felt my case was very strong and could be decided favorable on review and before the hearing. My case went to hearing and the ALJ denied me benefits. In his decision I don’t see where he gives my back surgeons opinion much weight in his decision. I am 57 years old, female, have suffered from back issues that many times prevent me from walking and I need to crawl. I have been through spinal injections, PT, etc. Additionally, I have fallen several times because of my back injuring my knee that required surgery and I also broke my ribs as a result of falling. I have MRI’s stating dis issues and arthritis in all areas of my back and 10 days before my ALJ hearing, I had another MRI stating that I have Central Canal Stenosis in 4 areas of my lumbar as well as neuraforimal stenosis in 3 lumbar areas. The ALJ was presented with this new MRI and allowed the MRI as part of the case. My attorney is now telling me she doesn’t believe the Appeals Council will remand my case because she believes the way in which the ALJ wrote his decision. I so upset as I have struggled since 2010 when my back issues 1st started. Also, during my ALJ hearing, my attorney apologized to the ALJ because a form indicating my capabilities or something like that , never was faxed in. Can you please share some advice with me ?
    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Debra,

      Although your attorney may be right, I would still appeal to the Appeals Council stating why you think that the judge did not fully consider the evidence about your back. Also, you do not say whether the form with the capabilities that was not faxed was presented at the hearing. If it was not and your attorney indicated it would be submitted and the judge didn’t wait to consider it in his opinion, then that would be a good point to bring out.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  14. jay says:

    Hi Kay; I have a SSDI federal appeal case pending, and I filed a new case for SSI and was approved. Does this approval SSI help my chances of winning my appeal?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jay,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our site has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      Your approval for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) could help your Social Security Disability (SSDI appeal), especially if you were still insured for Social Security Disability on the date you were determined to have become disabled for your SSI claim. Be sure that the attorney representing you in your appeal knows about the SSI approval.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  15. Gab says:

    Hi my claim was denied by the judge. First I tried on my own n it was denied then I got an attorney n we finally saw the judge n I was declined for the 2nd time. I suffer from A.S. ankylosis spondylitis, migraines, had ASD heart closure, had 13 ER visits that led to hospital stays because my S.I. Joint locked up n I could not walk. Now I found out that my pituitary tumor is 4 times the size from a year ago. 13 mm to be exact in addition to that tumor another “mass” was found in my brain. I suffer daily from headaches the migraines. In addition to the chronic back pain from the A.S. and the list of medication that I am on does NOT allow me to drive when on it, which is daily. I find it unfair that I have 2 suffer and then to be denied. Something should be done to help those that really need the help and all of this “red tape” is just crazy. Please someone help me, I’m in California. Thanks, gab

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Gab,

      Apologies for the delayed response. Our website has had a software problem, which is now resolved.

      I suggest that you file a new claim, claiming a later disability date, perhaps the date that the “mass” was found in your brain. Indicate on your application that you applied previously, but your condition has worsened and a brain mass has been discovered. Attach copies of the brain imaging reports.

      Best regards,

      Kay

  16. Debra says:

    I have Fibromyalgia, Depression, Chronic Migraines, Anxiety, and Crohns. I was turned down of course then went to a ALJ hearing. The ALJ denied me even though the expert said there wasnt a job I could do. Now I am at the Appeals Council. My question is do you think I have a chance of getting disability??

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Debra,

      Because your appeal is still pending, there is a chance of approval. If the judge did not fully consider all the evidence or made some other procedural error, it is possible that the Appeals Council will remand your claim to the judge for a second hearing, at which the denial could be reversed.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  17. I am in my 4th appeal stage and my paperwork is in Virginia. It was sent there June 2013. I called for status update and they said it went to Review on December 31st. I submitted an additional 36 pages of medical evidence that my attorney did not submit at my hearing. My attorney has since quit my case, and that is fine. I was told in September 2013 that my case had been marked “Critical”. Can you explain what that means? The Office Of Appeals could not give me a time frame for review and I figured that. I am thinking probably 2 more months before I hear anything. The other think I am wondering is, once they are in in the hands of the Reviewer again, do they work strictly on that case, or do they work on mutiple cases daily and just alot a short time daily to the case that is now assigned to them?

    Thank you,
    Patricia

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Patricia,

      “Critical” designation of a claim before the Appeals Council means that the appeal has been given a high priority status for review. It does not mean that it is first in line. “Sent for review” means that it has passed the first screening and is likely assigned to a specific reviewer. I do not know how an individual reviewer may work, but reviewers certainly have more than one appeal assigned at a time. You are probably right that it could still be a few months before a decision.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  18. Jama Clevenger says:

    I applied in June 2010, have been denied, all the way thru to the Appeals Council even my attorney kept telling me how strong my case was. I have Ataxia, resulting from a stroke. This is rare, no cure, causes imbalance and uncoordination. I also have been diagnosed with Depression and Fibromyalgia. After being denied by Appeals Council in 2012, I let my attorney go. I live in IN, she was in MS. She had been recommended by the Ataxia Foundation. At my ALJ hearing, I was told there were 6500 jobs I could do, my attorney never said a word. My neurologist, rheumotologist, & pychatrist could not beleive I was denied. I reapplied in Oct 2012, only to be denied again. I have retained yet another attorney. Since I had to reapply in 2012, I am no longer eligible for ssi. I would’ve qualified in 2010. I was told at the ssi office, when i reapplied, I would only be eligible for $710 a month. I haven’t had any type of income since 2010, I have solely been dependent on family & freinds. Will it take another year? Is there anything I can do?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jama,

      Ask your new attorney to study all the evidence for your case and the judge’s ruling very carefully now and to tell you how he or she will present your case differently and/or what evidence he/she thinks is missing, if any, so that you can provide it if you can. You can also get statements from you neurologist, rheumatologist, and psychiatrist in which they state the limitations they believe you have and the clinical or test findings that support those limitations.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  19. susan says:

    I to have denied still in appeals going on 17 months. My lawyer said my work history is not consided. When this all started I had worked in construction back when women had to work harder just to prove they were able to do a mans job.I’m 54 know and have always weighed 110 but I had to pay for home and child. The monies I payed in I no longer can get thanks to the gov. lagging behind mean while 6 people I alone know got ssi with out even getting a lawyer just by claming bipolar or some mental problem. Don’t get me wrong the people that truly have problems should get it. I hnow that everyone knows someone that draws monies, should not be getting it on the other hand we that truly need it and have paid in on it have to have ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE before we can maybe get ours.Our gov. is so messed up, I am so ashamed of the my it is run! SIGNED STILL WAITING

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Susan,

      Social Security law does consider work you have done in the past. Because you are over fifty, you only have to be disabled from work you have done in the past. The only way they would not look at the work a person of your age had done would be if your condition is so severe that it meets the Social Security disability listings.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  20. Mary says:

    First file in 2011 been denied twiceonce bye ssi and once bye adj so if am denied again whats my next step

    • Kay Derochie says:

      TO ALL WHO READ THIS, PLEASE NOTE THERE IS AN ERROR IN MY ANSWER. PLEASE SEE SECOND ANSWER TO MARY WHICH I POSTED ON 2/13/14.

      Dear Mary,
      You can file a new Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim, claiming a date of disability after the date of the judge’s denial letter. The new claim will be processed while you wait for the Appeals Council review (your current level of appeal), which can take two years. You can also file a new Social Security Disability (SSD) claim while your appeal is pending if you still had enough work credits to be insured after the date of the judge’s denial letter.

      If the Appeals Council review is not successful and you want to pursue the first claim further, you would file a lawsuit in Federal District Court. (You would have to pay the court costs.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Mary says:

        So why i am waiting for and decision so long itbeen a year since my last denied letter do this mean I want get a favourable outcome

        • Mary says:

          At the time of my hearing their was doctor saying I need surgery but the judge said I was still able to work but I do have doctor saying am not abke to work idk so tired have some help but they never have thing to tell me like this their first time with this plz help

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Mary,

            There was an error in my previous reply to you. You cannot file a new claim while your appeal is pending at the Appeals Council. Here is the correct information.

            After the Appeals Council has made a decision, if you are denied again, you can file a new Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim, claiming a date of disability after the date of the judge’s denial letter. You can also file a new Social Security Disability (SSD) claim if you still had enough work credits to be insured after the date of the judge’s denial letter.

            If the Appeals Council review is not successful and you want to pursue the first claim further, you can file a lawsuit in Federal District Court. (You would have to pay the court costs.)

            Sincerely,

            Kay

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Mary,

          You will not know the outcome of your claim until you last appeal, which is pending, has been completed. My prior response provides information about the process.

          Best regards,

          Kay

      • Nick says:

        Kay, I believe you are WRONG, you can no longer have two applications (claims) being processes at the same time. Are you an Attorney????

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Nick,

          You are correct; I am wrong. I am not an attorney, just a subject expert. I do try to keep up with changes in Social Security law and procedures, but I missed the change you referenced. It is correct that an individual cannot file a new claim while an appeal is pending at any level, including the Appeals Council. If the Appeals Council denies the claim and you have new information to provide, you can file a new claim with an onset date after the date of the hearing denial letter.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  21. Monica says:

    Thank you so much Kay for your help due to this site is very helpful and I am so glad that I came across this site.

  22. Monica says:

    Ok just to a make sure I understand this meaning if for some reason the appeals council is in agreement with the judge and I have a lawyer and I want to take the last step and appeal it to the federal and while waiting on the federal to decide I can still put in a new application while waiting on the federal decison or is this still not correct I would have to still wait now on a federal decision

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Hi Donna,

      I appreciate your appreciation of Clay’s efforts. You are paying him, you know (When he works on jobs I have contracted, I hire him as a subcontractor.) That said, if you wish to give him a thank you “tip,” he enjoys running down the hill to Burgerville.

      The Meyer’s quote would make a good title, too bad it’s her words (though maybe you could get permission from her to use it as a title and even have her review your book. Why not think big? Otherwise,
      a title for your work is likely to emerge as we work on the book. I will take a look at her video when I can make time.

      Without having read your book yet, my opinion would be to leave the vision in because it is part of your story. I’ll let you know if that opinion changes later.

      The seminar I mentioned is taught by Vinnie Kinsella through Indigo Editing in Portland. You will find a description of Vinnie’s “Being Your Own Publisher” class at this URL: http://www.indigoediting.com/workshops. It is an hour and a half hours and costs $45. I think he offers it every one to two months. My memory may be failing me, but I thought he taught a more extensive, more extensive class also, but I may be mistaken. You could call or email Indigo Editing to find out if he offers more than one type of self-publishing class.

      Indigo Editing also offers preparation of books for self-publishing, which might be of interest to you after you write the copy for the more recent years and after we finish editing the manuscript.

      Lastly, having your counselor read your book and write either a short statement about it for the back cover or even a preface sounds like a great opportunity. However, I strongly recommend that you wait until you and I have finished revising the manuscript, so that he is reading the book in the form it is to be published.

      Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Monica,

      I am not certain, but I think because you would have exhausted all the appeals in the Social Security system, you could file a new claim based on a later date of disability while the lawsuit was pending in District Court. I suggest that you check with your attorney to be sure.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  23. Amanda Agee says:

    How come it takes so long to hear back from the appeals councilcan I back out of the appeal and restart. I wanted to restart if I can so I can add more info that has changed since I started. As I wait on the appeal my condition has changed and they won’t let me report it. If I can back out,how do I do that,and will it hurt my case?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Amanda,

      If you have an attorney I recommend that you discuss your options with the attorney. It is possible that you could submit a written request to withdraw your request for review by the Appeals Council. A word of caution: If you are claiming Social Security Disability (called SSD or SSDI) and not just Supplemental Security Income (SSI), be sure that you were still insured for Social Security after the date of the judge’s decision. If you were not, withdrawing your request for Appeals Council review would likely remove the possibility of getting Social Security Disability (SSDI) on a new claim.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  24. Terri Nelson-Stoltman says:

    What does a friend of mine due if he was denied benefits. I let him stay at my house until things change for him. He has hard time breathing and doing daily things. He has a letter he received from his doctor saying he can’t work due to his health. He don’t go to doctor no more because he has no insurance or money to pay for help. What should be his next step to appeal the decision.

    Terri

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Terri,

      Your friend should appeal the denial if he is unable to work. You might write up a statement of what you observe about his breathing and daily activity limitations to submit with the appeal, but he also could benefit from hiring an attorney with Social Security and Supplemental Security disability experience. You can obtain an excellent Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  25. tiredofsuffering says:

    I have been mistreated by ssa,my case was denied at the alj hearing.i am over 50 years of age got hurt on my job in 1998,the right leg was badly injured leaving the foot hanging by skin only.my tib & fib broke around the ankle and below the knee,in 2006 both legs went out the pain was very bad.the doctor told me that no one could help me an that I needed to fight for disability.the pain is 24 / 7 and I went to the hospital there I was told I have fibro from my shoulders down to my elbows,now my body is totaly in pain,the judge said in his decision he knows I can’t do past history work.the v.e stated that wouldn’t nobody hire me at my age on a cane,but the judge overlooked all med records,held paperwork until all my qt’s had expired,leaving me with only 29 days to appeal and my lawyer at that time said he couldn’t do a appeal.something wasn’t right with the judge & lawyer on my case.God is good,he allowed a law firm to take my case an they are members of ssa / ALJ.waiting to hear from appeals council about all errors that was found.please comment on the odar office ponzi scheme on SSI-vs-SSD.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tired of Suffering,

      I will post your comment of dissatisfaction. If the judge did not follow proper procedures, the Appeals Council will order a second hearing.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  26. tammie says:

    Hi! Can you tell me the “stages” of the appeals process? I called the appeals council and they said its” under review by recommendation”?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tammie,

      The three levels of appeal within the Social Security system are reconsideration, hearing, and Appeals Council review. The Appeals Council can either decline to review the facts of the claim according to their rules or decide to review the facts of the case and the hearing procedures to see whether the denial was arrived at properly. It sounds as if your claim was accepted for review. If they decide that the hearing failed to properly address all issues, they will remand (send back) your claim to the judge for more investigation and a second hearing.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  27. APPEAL’S COUNCIL.:/ NEW p.o box 50536
    mpls.,55403

    BALTIMORE MD. 20201

    DEAR SIR’S.,

    I HAVE APPLIED ACTUALLY YEAR’S AND YEAR’S BACK NOW. I HAV4 SUBMITTED A VERY DETAILED: mri -MAPS PAIN CLINIC

    HOWEVER IN 2002. BEFORE QUITTING MY WORK POSITION IIN THE COUNTY OF HENNEPIN BOTH AS A RECEPTIONIST AND TAX CLERK….ALSO FILLING IN THEIR C/D ROM FOR WORKERS WITH DISABILITY CLAIMS FOR THE COUNTY.
    a-CONFLICT WITH MY FORMER CO WORKERS EXIST.S;.

    i FILMED ALL THEIR RECORDS FROM MY EARLY YEARS AND USE TO LICENSE NOT CHILD CARES BUT USE TO PAY HENNEPINS CONTRACTED CLIENT LIST….ONE OF OUR JOBS WAS TO DETERMINE IF THEY WOULD GET THAT BENEFIT. NO…..THAT WAS ONLY A DAYCARE AGENTS JOB TO SEE IF THEY WOULD GET PAID…

    THIS LAWYER …I BELEIVE HAS NOT FILED DISABILITY FOR ME….i HAVE ENOUGH RETIREMENT CRETITS TO RETIRE NOW AT THE TIME
    I HAD TO SEE….THE RESIGNATION THREW.

    i AM NOT ONLY MAKING 30,500.00 IN THAT WORKPLACE …I DID NOT TAKE MY WORK LIGHTLY.

    i HAVE CARPEL TUNNEL NOW…THIS STARTED IN 1985

    NIGHT BLINDNES….AND SUFFERED FROM EYE BURN…EXTREME PRESSURES AT THE WORKSITE ALSO FORCED ME TO STOP…

    I AM NOT ABLE TO KEEP ON THAT DEMAND…THEIR WAS NO INTEREST
    IN HELPING ME. AND THIS ALSO WENT THREW AT THE STATE UNEMPLOYMENT OFFICE……

    I PUT IN ALL MY PAYMENTS AND THEN SOME.
    MR. TOOMEY HAS RECEIVED AND DID NOT REFUND TO ME 6000.

    I HAVE NOW BY SNOWFALL BROKEN MY LEFT HAND…

    i DON’T BELEIVE …UNFORTUNATELY MY DAUGHTER RETURNED THE
    MONEY I AM IN NEED OF.

    pLEASE RETURN . MY BACK PAY …THIS AREA BELEIVES…A VERY SMALL PORTION OF PEOPLE ARE MIXING A LOT OF PEOPLE UP; HERE.
    83,000.00 estimated last year with out interest.
    i have worked ledgers as long as your photo lab counters….counted numerous
    boxes of fishing licenses all /…i under the watchfull eye’ of .the camaras.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jeannie,

      It appears you have misdirected your correspondence. This site answers general questions about Social Security and SSI. If you wish to correspond with Social Security’s Appeals Council, their address is
      Appeals Council, SSA/ODAR
      5107 Leesburg Pike
      Falls Church, VA 22041-3255

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  28. Steve says:

    Hello Kay
    You mention in your article that it is possible to file a new disability claim while the appeals counsel is reviewing your case… is that still true? About 2 years ago my case was appealed to the appeals council and when I tried to file a new claim the manager of the local SS office forced me to sign a document to dismiss my case. 1> Shouldn’t have SS contacted my lawyer about that instead of pressuring me? 2> Was dismissing that case really necessary?
    Anyway, the appeals council did remand my case even though I agreed to dismiss. Now waiting on the ALJ decision after the remand hearing. The judge did ask about that document, I told him I just did what I was told to do by the SS office manager.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Steve,

      Regulations have changed. A person can no longer file a new claim while the original claim is pending with the Appeals Council. If your remanded claim is denied, you can file a new claim, if you are still insured, claiming a disability date after the hearing decision.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  29. Confused2014 says:

    March 27th, 2014

    I filed my original SSDI claim and it was denied on or about May 14th. In the meantime I filed a second claim (new claim). The new claim was approved on May 15th, but the $75K in back benefits from the May 14th claim was not paid to me? I have a letter from the Administrative Judge that states “I am aware you filed a NEW claim for SSDI, I will count the new claim the same as the old claim, which means I may deny you benefits…………”

    According to SSA POMS “if a valid reason exists for not responding to the appeals committee, such as hospitalization and/or severe mental issues the claim/case may still be heard before the appeals council…”

    Can your organization help me with this?

    I respect your time and I do not want to be too “long-in-the-tooth” on the website.

    One lawyer said he would help me but his fee was 40% of the total $75K potential SSDI back payment?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Confused,

      I cannot understand what is currently pending regarding your claims or at what level the issues are pending. (I am unsure why you quoted regulations, but assume it is because you did not respond to some request from the appeals council in the time frame they gave.) I agree that you need legal assistance to sort this out. By law, attorneys can not receive more than $6,000 to represent you if you are still within the Social Security appeals system. If you would like to discuss whether Disability Advisor can provide legal assistance with your claims, call 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award at the time they send your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  30. tete says:

    If the ssi said a desiciin has been made that its getting reveiwed what does this mean im schitOfrenic bipoler manic deppression and obsesive disorder.do you think all be approved im so depressed i also have really bad insiaty attacks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tete,

      Your claim is being reviewed could mean that the medical decision is being reviewed by the quality assurance department for accuracy or it could mean that the medical review is complete and the non-medical factors are being reviewed. I suggest that you call again and ask them to clarify the type of review that is being done. If it is for non-medical factors, ask what you need to submit, if anything, for the review and when they expect to complete the review.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  31. Kay Derochie says:

    Dear Tired of Suffering,

    None of your comments are being posted because this site serves a specific purpose and your comments are outside that purpose. Additionally, I no longer read your posts, so you may suspend your efforts and stop posting to this site.

    Thank you.

    Kay

  32. mslove says:

    I have been reading some of the post on this website…..I am just wondering has anyone ever recieved SSD?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ms. Love,

      Oh yes, people do get approved for disability. 8,942,584 individuals receive Social Security disability benefits and about 6,200,000 receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

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