What happens when you decide to appeal an unfavorable decision regarding a claim for Social Security Disability benefits?

When you receive the Notice of Unfavorable Decision letter you will have approximately 60 days to file an appeal with the Social Security Administration. If you miss the deadline you may lose rights to disability benefits. After you meet with the attorney to discuss your situation the appeal will then be filed.  It typically takes several months to receive an appeal hearing date.  During this time, we will further interview you and gather the relevant medical evidence that will be attached as exhibits to the appeal.  As we approach the hearing date, we will meet to prepare for the meeting.

In this video, we discuss what it is like at a Social Security Disability Appeals Hearing:

If you have any questions or concerns about this issue or other issues on the law, please call the Nomberg Law Firm at 205-930-6900.


Hey, it’s Bernard Nomberg, Nomberg Law Firm in Birmingham, Alabama. Wanted to take a few minutes to chat with you about what happens after you’ve decided to appeal your social security disability claim. Typically, before you get that notice of unfavorable decision, you will have applied either online or in person for disability through the Social Security Administration, and it typically takes somewhere between four and eight months for once you’ve filed your original application for a decision to be made. And the reason being is it takes several months to accumulate all of your medical records and for those records to be processed, and then for a decision maker to issue a decision.

If you get a favorable decision, whether it’s fully or partial, you’ll get a letter that explains the decision and what will happen next. But for those of you who get an unfavorable decision, you’ll also get a letter, but this letter gives you typically 60 days to make a decision to appeal your claim for social security disability benefits. And this is what I’m addressing right now. It’s during that time period of that 60 odd days for you to make a decision, and that’s when you should consult with an attorney who’s experienced in social security disability matters to get your claim appealed or to start over the entire process.

But let’s assume you decided to appeal, and we send in all of the proper paperwork. We then get a response from the Social Security Administration telling us that they’ve received the appeal. They’ll tell us if certain documents are still owed, and then they will set up a time schedule for when hopefully we will then get an appeals hearing, and during that time period we will accumulate the new medical evidence, medical records, et cetera, of your care that’s happened since the decision was issued up until the current time period, and that could be a few months or it could be several months or a couple of years.

So hopefully we will get a hearing date with an administrative law judge not too far out into the future, but it does take some time, typically a few months, to get that. We’re working toward that date, and during that time period we will meet with you to discuss the current status of your medical care, make sure that we have all of the proper medical documentation and evidence that we need, such as pharmacy records, opinions from your treating doctors. We’ll send them a form to fill out and the like, and then as we get closer to the hearing date itself, we will have a prep meeting and we’ll go over everything that is a part of the social security appeals hearing, and in a different video, I actually go over what the hearings are like.

Anyway, that should give you a quick overview of how this time period goes between appeal and hearing date. If you have questions or concerns about the process or want to get some legal advice about appealing, please give me a call at 205-930-6900. Again, this is Bernard Nomberg, Nomberg Law Firm in Birmingham. We can be reached at, as well as on social media. Thanks.

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Steve Altmann has been assisting consumers and business owners with bankruptcy matters for more than 27 years. 

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