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What is the first step in the appeals process?
After you receive a denial letter, you need to notify the Social Security Administration that you'd like to file a Request for Reconsideration. You or an attorney can do this by completing and sending Form SSA-561-U2 back to the SSA's offices.
How long does an appeal take?
The appeals process can take a long time. There are four stages in appealing a denied disability claim, but if you are successful at any of them, the process stops. The first step, request for reconsideration, can take up to a year if the SSA requires you to get more medical consultation and exams. The average amount of time needed to process a hearing with an administrative law judge, the next step, was 514 days in 2008. The Appeals Council Review and filing a suit in federal court can take a lot of time to process and resolve depending on the circumstances of your case.