Question D: What can an individual do if he or she disagrees with the determination?

If an individual disagrees with the initial determination in the case, he or she may appeal it. The first administrative appeal is a reconsideration, which is generally a case review at the State level by an adjudicative team that was not involved in the original determination. If dissatisfied with the reconsideration determination, the individual may request a hearing before an administrative law judge. If he or she is dissatisfied with the hearing decision, the final administrative appeal is for review by the Appeals Council. In general, a claimant has 60 days to appeal an unfavorable determination or decision. Appeals must be filed in writing and may be submitted by mail or in person to any Social Security office.

If the individual exhausts all administrative appeals, but wishes to continue pursuing the case, he or she may file a civil suit in Federal District Court and eventually appeal all the way to the United States Supreme Court.