How to Submit SSDI Appeal Forms for a Disability Claim

In this article...
  • What should you do when your Social Security Disability Income claim is denied? Learn how to obtain and submit the right SSDI appeal forms for reconsideration.
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Your Social Security Disability Claim: How to Submit SSDI Appeal Forms

The Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) program provides financial help to people unable to work because of a disability. If you applied for benefits and received a decision that you don't agree with, you do have options. You can submit the appropriate SSDI appeal forms and ask that your disability claim be looked at again.

There are four different stages of appeal, beginning with reconsideration. Read on to learn more about submitting a reconsideration request and what you can expect.

Timeline for Submitting an Appeal

Once you've received a decision letter about your SSDI claim, you have 60 days to submit an appeal if you're not satisfied. If there are reasons for not responding within this timeframe, you can provide an explanation in writing and ask for more time. In some cases, Social Security may extend the timeline.

Social Security calculates the 60 days assuming you receive the decision letter within five days of mailing. If the 60th day after receipt of the letter is on a weekend or national holiday, you have until the next business day to submit your appeal.

Which SSDI Appeal Forms Do You Need to Complete?

If you want to ask for your claim to be reconsidered, determine if you're unhappy with a medical or nonmedical decision. An example of a nonmedical denial is the determination that you haven't worked enough hours to qualify for disability insurance.

Appealing a Medical Decision

The fastest way to appeal a medical decision is to complete the forms online.

If you're not comfortable completing an online application, you can submit paper copies of the following three SSDI appeal forms:

  • Request for Reconsideration (Form SSA-561)
  • Disability Report - Appeal (Form SSA-3441)
  • Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration (Form SSA-827)

Your application is processed faster if all three forms are sent in at the same time.

Appealing a Nonmedical Decision

The fastest way to appeal a nonmedical decision is to apply online.

You can also submit a paper copy of the following SSDI appeal form:

  • Request for Reconsideration (Form SSA-561)

How to Obtain SSDI Appeal Forms

While Social Security recommends applying online for faster processing, you can fill in hard copies of the SSDI appeal forms and mail them. Here are ways to obtain the forms:

How to Complete Your SSDI Appeal Forms Online

It can take anywhere from 40 minutes to more than an hour to complete an online appeal, but you can complete it in sections if you wish. You can save the information you've entered and come back later to finish your application if needed.

Keep in mind that the online forms are only available during certain hours. There are also time limits for completing each page, so you can make the process easier by having all the information you need close at hand before you begin. 

What Happens After Your Reconsideration Appeal is Submitted

Once your SSDI appeal forms are submitted for reconsideration, they're reviewed by a person who wasn't involved in the first decision, so you're assured of a fresh perspective. The review includes all of the information from the original application and any new evidence you've sent in.

When the review is finished, a letter outlining the reconsideration decision is mailed to you. In 2018, it took an average of 103 days to process a medical appeal.

Hopefully, you're satisfied with the decision, but if you disagree with the reconsideration, there are other three other levels of SSDI appeals you can continue through:

  • A hearing with an administrative law judge
  • A review by Social Security's Appeals Council
  • A federal court lawsuit

If your claim is denied at one level, you have 60 days to appeal at the next level. Your denial notice will tell you the next steps you need to take.    

For more information about SSDI appeals, contact the Social Security Administration toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 or at 1-800-325-0778 (TTY)