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AARP's Social Security Q&A Tool

How can I appeal a decision by the SSA?

En español | To begin an appeal, you must make a written request to Social Security within 60 days of receiving notification of the decision that you are contesting. There are four levels of appeal: a reconsideration by Social Security staff; a hearing before an administrative law judge; a review by SSA's Appeals Council; and a review in the federal courts (you can obtain reviews in both the federal district where you live as well as the Court of Appeals for that district). You can represent yourself in these proceedings or appoint another person to represent you, such as a friend, relative or lawyer. However, your chances of winning are greater if you have legal representation. Your representative cannot charge you a fee unless Social Security has given written permission to do so.

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