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Understanding the PA Social Security Appeals Process: Four Main Steps

Are you disheartened by a recently denied social security disability claim? Don’t be. You have at least four opportunities to appeal the decision:                                                                             


This is the simplest step and is similar to asking for a second opinion. All you have to do is fill out two online forms: a Request for Reconsideration and an Appeal Disability Report. Another Social Security Administration representative will look at your medical records and make a decision independent from the first person who reviewed your claim.


This is a somewhat informal hearing with an Administrative Law Judge. You will need to fill out a Request for Hearing by Administrative Law Judge form and a second Appeal Disability Report. This hearing can be done face-to-face if you prefer, but it is not necessary. If you choose an in-person hearing, you may bring a representative—an attorney or other advocate—with you. You are not required to have an attorney at this hearing, but doing so could help speed up the process and get your claim for Social Security Disability in Pennsylvania approved faster.

Appeals Council Review

This step requires a paper form not available online. Once the local Harrisburg SSA has received your formal appeal, a representative from the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review will take a look at your medical records and let you know if the decision has been changed.

District Court Case

If all else fails and the SSA still refuses to approve a claim that you think is legitimate, you do have the option to take the case to district court. At this stage you must have a qualified Harrisburg social security disability attorney to help you pursue your claim.

If you are in need of an attorney to start the appeal process, we encourage you to contact us directly. For more information, we invite you to check out the other helpful articles on our blog.

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