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Are you wondering how to appeal a denial from the SSA?

Is this what happened? You applied for benefits and you received a denial of your application in the mail. Now, you are wondering how to appeal. The first thing to realize is that you should not give up your case. You have 60 days to appeal the SSA’s decision. Even if you feel upset or angry at the SSA, you cannot give up the fight after one or two denials of your application.

The only way to win your benefits is to go through the appeal process and not give up. There are a number of stages at which your claim can be denied. The SSA denies cases because it causes people to give up their claim. Therefore, the more people who give up their claim, the more money the SSA saves. Don’t give up. Because that is what they are hoping you will do. If you can’t work, then appeal the SSA denial as soon as possible.


Most people who apply for SSD benefits are denied within 3 months of filing their initial application. In fact, most claims are also denied at the second appeal level. This means you will receive multiple denials of your claim during the appeal process. However, in order to keep your chances of winning benefits alive, you need to appeal the denials. And, you need to file a timely appeal. Learn more abut application and appeal forms here.

SSI claim denied APPEAL DENIAL

The first thing you need to do is read the denial letter. It will tell you that you have 60 days to appeal the denial. That is a serious time limit. It shouldn’t be hard to appeal the denial within a 60-day time frame. Especially now that you can appeal online at Social Security’s website.  All of the information you need in order to appeal is on their website.

If you don’t have access to the internet, you can go to your local library. Using the internet for free at the library you can go to SSA’s website and appeal there. The SSA’s website and the SSDI application and appeal paperwork can be found online.


If you don’t have access to the internet, you can still appeal a denial by going into the local SSA office. They have paper appeal forms there that you can fill out in writing..  If you cannot physically go to the local SSA office, do not worry. You can still appeal by telephone. The SSA has a 1-800 number that is free to call. Call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213.

The SSA will send you the paperwork that you need to appeal a denial. If you are blind, they will help you appeal. Likewise, if you cannot read, then you can have someone help you complete the forms. Even if you can’t sign your name, the SSA will accept an “X” as a signature, if you have another person witness it and sign the form.

The reason you want to appeal is that eventually, you will be able to have a hearing in front of a judge. At the hearing, you will be able to explain your mental and physical conditions to the judge. The judge is the finder of fact. He or she is not bound by SSA’s prior decisions. The judge gives you the opportunity to speak about the impact of your symptoms on your ability to work. Additionally, the judge will review all of the medical evidence and your testimony, before making a decision. But that will never happen unless you submit a timely appeal each time you receive an SSA denial.


By now you know the SSA denies most appeals. If SSA issues a denial, what can you do to make your appeal better? How can you appeal your denial and win benefits? The answer is simple. Go to the doctor. Medical evidence is the key to winning benefits.  If you don’t have medical evidence, you simply will not win your case. Objective medical evidence about your severe physical and mental conditions is they key to an award of benefits.

The SSA and the judge, who preside in your court case, need evidence to rely on. They can’t grant your case just because you tell them you can’t work. Even if you have a visible physical condition, you will still need medical evidence in support of your claim. Find a doctor who will support you. One who will write a letter about your symptoms. If your doctor doesn’t support you, it is not likely that you will win SSD or SSI benefits.

If you don’t have health insurance, there is still a way to get a doctor. We have resources on this website that can help you find a low cost clinic or a free doctor in Nevada. Also, we have information about free and low cost health services in Utah. Additionally, we have a list of free health services in Idaho and a list of free health services in Colorado. We also have information about how, after you have seen the doctor, you can obtain a copy of your medical records for free.

If you have medical insurance, you should use it. Visit your doctor. Tell your doctor what is wrong. Then, get treatment and follow it. None of our resources will work if you don’t also go to the doctor on a routine basis.

doctor with records to appeal denial


Another important key to winning your hearing is knowing the evidence rules. There are firm time limits on when to submit medical records. The SSA has issued a rule that all medical records must be into the judge five days prior to your hearing. This means five “working” days. In other words, the time limit to submit records is SEVEN days prior to your hearing. If you submit evidence past the 7 day time limit, then you must have a good reason as to why it was not submitted on time. You must also write a letter telling the judge the reason as to why you are late.

Remember, everything must be in front of the judge and in the record one week prior to the hearing. There are good reasons for this rule. The SSA is dealing with thousands of hearings across the nation. It helps the SSA to have the evidence so the judge and experts can review it. The bottom line is this:  one week prior to the hearing is the last day you can submit medical records to the judge.

If you fail to submit records one week prior to the hearing, the judge doesn’t have to admit them into the record. That means she doesn’t have to consider them. She doesn’t have to read them. The records just don’t make it in and that can make all the difference in your case.

Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your records or to give all of your records to your attorney so she can submit them. Prepare in advance and you will have a better chance of winning your benefits. Hire Cannon Disability Law to help you obtain the evidence that you need to win your SSDI and SSI benefits.


The SSA will schedule your hearing at the Office of Hearings Operations (OHO) that is closest to you. If you need to travel more than 75 miles to your hearing, the SSA will pay you for your for mileage. However, you will need to request a form at the hearing office that you fill out. Once you fill out the form and get it back to the hearing office, they will pay you for your mileage. Usually, they send you a check a number of months after your hearing is held.

You will be sent a “Notice of Hearing,” which contains the date and time of your hearing. Prior to the hearing, you can request that your hearing be held in person, instead of by phone or video. Either way, your hearing will be held before an Administrative Law Judge.

The judge will ask you questions. We prepare you for the questions that the Judge will ask. Don’t worry. You will not be alone when you go into court. You will have your attorney with you. Chances are good your lawyer will also ask you questions and can prepare you in advance to answer those questions.

Additionally, your lawyer will often be the person asking you questions. If you want to know more about the hearing, please read our blog. For example, What Questions Will the Judge Ask At My Disability Hearing, is a good place to start. You can access other articles about your hearing in our article, Questions About Your Disability Hearing.


When you contact Cannon Disability Law, you will receive a free review of your case. If we accept your case, you do not have to pay any money upfront to hire us. The reason you do not pay us any money upfront is that we represent all of our clients on a pay only if you win basis. This means that if we do not win your case, you do not owe us an attorney fee. It also means that if we win your case, you pay us out of your back benefit.

What does a free review of your case mean? It means that we will answer your questions about your Social Security case for free. If you don’t know how to apply for benefits, then we will help you. Likewise, if you want to become a client or you are wondering if you have a good SSD case, then we will tell you.

But, a free review does not mean we are your attorney. First, we have to accept your case. Much of our decision on whether we take your case depends on what you tell us. Therefore, when you call, make sure you explain all of your physical and mental conditions.

Likewise, if you have a physical condition like back pain, then don’t forget to tell us about a back operation you may have had. Every physical and mental condition should be taken into account. For example, if you have anxiety, then tell us about that too. You want SSD and SSI benefits to replace your income and you want a great attorney to help you. Therefore, contact us today.


If you need help filing and application for SSDI and SSI benefits or if you need to appeal a denial of benefits, then contact Cannon Disability Law. We have been filing appeals on SSA denials for 30 years. Since most cases receive a denial, we know how prepare an appeal. Our goal is to provide the best medical information to the SSA, so that they don’t deny your claim. Instead, we want them to grant it. We want them to grant it as soon as possible.

If you don’t win your case on appeal, then we can represent you in court at your Social Security hearing. We will help you be a witness in your case. If necessary, we can also appeal your case to the Appeals Council. Additionally, we file appeals in Federal Court.

Finally, we can represent you where you live. For example, we can represent you if need an attorney in Utah or Nevada. Utah benefit information can be found our website. Likewise, Nevada SSD benefit information can also be found here. Additionally, we can help you if you live in Idaho, Colorado, or California. Idaho SSD benefit information can be found here.

Your future income is at risk if you do not win benefits. In order to fight SSA’s denials, you need a lawyer. Hire us. Dianna Cannon has been helping people win their benefits for over thirty years. Brett Bunkall and Andria Summers also have many years of legal experience. We have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI hearings. You can trust us to help you. We will do everything we can to help you win your SSDI and SSI benefits.

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