Filing an SSI Appeal
Most of the rules for filing an SSI disability appeal or an appeal on SSI non-disability factors of eligibility are the same as for Social Security Disability. Our article “I Was Denied Social Security Disability. What Can I Do?” and the companion articles linked to it provide an overview and detailed descriptions of the three levels of appeal within the Social Security system: reconsideration, hearing, and Appeals Council review.
SSI Reconsideration Options
If you are appealing an unfavorable SSI decision, you may choose a case review; an informal conference; and, in some cases, a formal conference as part of the reconsideration review. In a case review, individuals not involved in the original decision review all of the information you and others have submitted and make a decision. If you request a informal review, you can meet with the appeal reviewers to present your case and call witnesses. A formal conference also allows you to subpoena adverse witnesses for cross-examination. A formal conference applies when you are appealing the termination, suspension, or reduction of your SSI benefits.
It is usually advisable to hire an attorney well-versed in SSI and Social Security law when you file a reconsideration, and it is an especially good idea to seek legal representation if you plan to request an informal or formal conference as part of the appeal. Similarly, if you file an SSI Disability hearing request, it improves your chances of approval to have an experienced disability lawyer to help you present your case. To see how you can afford legal representation, see our article “How Do Social Security Disability Attorneys Get Paid for Representing You in Your Disability Claim?”
Getting Your SSI Appeal Started
You can obtain the appeal forms from a local Social Security office. You can also find the correct SSI appeal form and the accompanying Appeal Disability Report online at www.socialsecurity.gov. You can either complete and submit the SSI Disability appeal online, or you can print the forms to complete and mail or deliver them to your local Social Security office.