Steps to Appeal Your Social Security Denial in Nashville

If the Social Security Administration (SSA) denied your application for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) the first time, don’t worry. Most people who apply for benefits are denied initially. The people who take the time to make an appeal and submit detailed documentation of disability end up earning monthly benefits.

Making an appeal against the SSA’s determination of disability can be an uphill battle, but if you’re certain you deserve to receive disability benefits, it can be worth the effort. Statistics show that the SSA accepts the majority of successful applications for Social Security after administrative law judges address them, not after the initial SSA review.


If the SSA denies your first claim, be patient and persistent. Too many people give up after their first rejection without realizing that the chances of the SSA accepting their claim are much higher the second time around. You must first figure out why they denied your case, and then hire a disability lawyer to help you with an appeal.

Once you’ve hired a lawyer, he or she will request an appeal. The first appeal comes in the form of a reconsideration. You can request an appeal within 60 days of when you received the denial. The reconsideration will include updated documentation of the mental or physical disability (lawyer can provide with the help of a hired medical professional) and is sent to an SSA representative. If the agent denies the recon, your appeal will move onto stage two.


An administrative law judge (ALJ) will hold a hearing with you and your lawyer after you request one (again, within 60 days of original denial). The judge will look into your case and take into consideration any new evidence or documentation you’ve provided. Before the hearing, our attorneys will prepare you for what to expect so you can enter the courtroom with confidence.

At the hearing, the ALJ will question you and any witnesses you provide (medical professional, etc.). Your Larry R. Williams, PLLC, disability lawyer will be with you through the entire hearing, defending your case and ensuring your side of the story gets told accurately and compellingly. If the judge looks at all the information in your case and still denies your claim, there are two more appeals you can make. We advocate for our clients to continue the appeal process, since most acceptances happen at that point.

Appeals Council

Your attorney will help you ask for a review by the Social Security’s Appeals Council. This Council looks at every request you’ve made in the past and decides whether to review your case. If the Appeals Court denies your review or accepts it and then denies the claim after review, you can move on to the fourth step.

Federal Court

The final step in the appeal process is to file a lawsuit in a federal district court. Your lawyer will ask a court to look into your case to take it to trial. This type of appeal will review every single aspect of the case, including any new evidence or documentation, and come to a final decision about your case. If a judge denies your case in this final step, you can wait and reapply to the SSA all over again in the future.

Get Help From Expert Nashville Attorneys

Larry R. Williams has served as a successful disability lawyer in the Nashville area for more than 35 years. Hiring attorneys who use aggressive litigation techniques and high-quality resources to win can make a significant difference in how the SSA reviews your disability case. Contact us today for a free disability appeal consultation.