The 4 levels of the SSDI appeals process

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2022 | Social Security Disability

It is not uncommon for residents of North Carolina to submit claims for Social Security Disability Insurance only to have those claims denied. However, if you find yourself in this situation, do not give up hope. The U.S. Social Security Administration has an appeals system in place that gives you and others who have their initial applications rejected a means through which to file appeals.

According to, the process for appealing an SSDI benefits denial may involve the following four steps. However, if the SSA approves you after the first step in the appeals process, you do not need to take further action.

Level 1 – Reconsideration

During the reconsideration stage, someone new takes another look at your SSDI application. This party who had no part in denying your original claim takes a fresh look at your information to see if he or she reaches the same conclusion as the first reviewer.

Level 2 – Hearing by an administrative law judge

If you do not get anywhere during the reconsideration stage, you may need to ask for a hearing with an administrative law judge. This may take place somewhere within a reasonable distance of your home, or it may occur online.

Level 3 – Review by the appeals council

If the administrative law judge hearing fails to produce the results you want, you may ask the appeals council to review your application. It may or may not decide to hear you out.

Level 4 – Federal court review

Your final chance at appealing your SSDI benefits denial involves requesting a federal court review.

Should you decide to appeal your denied SSDI claim, please note that you typically have 60 days from the date the SSA denied your application to file your appeal.