Committed To You - Since 1956

The 4 stages of the SSDI appeals process

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2022 | Social Security Disability |

As a North Carolina resident who has an injury or illness that is bad enough to keep you from earning a living, you may decide to seek Social Security Disability Insurance from the U.S. Social Security Administration. Yet, many people who apply for these benefits receive communications denying their claims after applying. This does not necessarily mean you have no shot at these benefits, but it does mean you may need to take some extra steps to boost your chances.

According to the SSA, you and anyone else who receives a denial in response to your SSDI application have the option of appealing the administration’s decision. There are four steps involved in the appeals process, but if you find success in an earlier step, you do not have to complete all four. The four stages of the SSDI appeals process are as follows.


The first stage in the appeals process has you ask someone who had no part in denying your original SSDI claim to give your application another review to see if the new reviewer reaches the same conclusion.

Hearing with an administrative law judge

If reconsideration does not get you the results you want, you may ask an administrative law judge to take a look at your case.

Review by the appeals council

If other options fail, you may ask the SSA’s Appeals Council to hear your case. The council may or may not decide to do so.

Federal review

Your final option, if nothing else works, is to ask a federal district court to review your case.

The SSA denies many SSDI claims for similar reasons. Generally, the more documentation you produce about your illness or injury and its impacts on your life, the better your chances of receiving approval for SSDI benefits.