How to Appeal a Social Security Claim Denial in Washington State

The Social Security claims appeals process is lengthy and time-consuming, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t begin an appeal if you feel you have a case. It’s important to consult a qualified Social Security claims attorney to see which options may be open to you. 

If you’ve filed an initial application for Supplemental Security Income (SS) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and were denied, you do have additional options to appeal the decision and have your application reviewed up to four times. 


First, you have 60 days from the date of the decision to start any appeal process. It will begin with Reconsideration by filing form SSA-561 and is typically done for those who have been denied for medical reasons. If the request is based on a non-medical decision, there is a separate process for that. 

Hearing by an Administrative Law Judge

If you were denied again, you can request a hearing with a judge who had no part in the original determination of your application. These hearings typically happen with 75 miles of your stated address (the nearest office for eastern Washington and northern Idaho residents is in Spokane). Hearings can happen in-person or by video and the SSA tries to be flexible with timing and scheduling. Non-medical hearings happen online only. 

At this point, it may be wise to consult with a qualified Social Security claims attorney as he/she will understand the process and potential best options for a successful hearing.

Appeals Council Review

The next step in the appeals process is submitting to the Appeals Council, who may choose to hear your case or send it back to an administrative law judge. 

Federal Court Review

The final option is a civil suit in federal district court. This suit option is not available online and certainly requires the guidance of a Social Security claims attorney who understands the specific processes to file and argue a suit. 

If you feel your Social Security claim has been wrongfully denied, rest assured that you may have options open to you. If you’re in eastern Washington or northern Idaho, call Schott Law today at (509) 328-5789 to schedule a free consultation.