The Social Security Administration denies approximately 67% of all initial disability claims. You have 60 days to appeal an unfavorable claim for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
If your claim is denied at the initial level for medical reasons you should consult an experienced attorney to file a request for reconsideration. According to the Social Security Administration 85% of reconsiderations are denied. A request for reconsideration must be appealed within 60 days of receiving your denial letter.
If your Requests for Reconsideration is denied the next step is to request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge within 60 days. When you file a request for hearing you should ALWAYS state that you wish to appear at the hearing and you should ALWAYS hire an experienced social security attorney to help you prepare for the hearing. Do not go to a hearing without representation!
A recent Government Accounting Office study of hearings level allowance rates for disability claims showed that claimants who had representatives were allowed benefits at a rate nearly 3 times higher than those without representation.