Social Security Disability: What is an Administrative Review?

VA Disability

Administrative Review in the Social Security Process

Appeal Rights Process

The Administrative Review process followed by Social Security Administration in determining an individual’s rights under the Social Security Act typically consists of several steps:
  • Reconsideration
  • Hearings, and
  • Appeals Council review
Individuals dissatisfied with the outcome of the administrative review process may request judicial review by filing a complaint in the U.S. District Court.
Each step in the process must be requested within certain time periods. SSA introduced a modification of this process in 10 States for disability applications filed October 1, 1999 and later.
Under this revised process claimants file appeals of initial disability denials directly with the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, thereby eliminating the reconsideration step.
The options for appeal beyond the hearing level are unchanged.


The first step in the administrative review process if an individual is dissatisfied with SSA’s initial determination, unless it is one of ten States that has eliminated reconsideration. See “Appeal Rights Process.”


To the extent that they are not inconsistent with the rules in this subpart for making initial determinations and reconsidered determinations, we will use the same rules for the administrative review process that we use for determinations and decisions about your rights regarding non-medical issues under title II of the Act, as described in subpart J of part 404 of this chapter. We will accept oral requests as well as the written requests required in subpart J of part 404 of this chapter for requesting administrative review of our determination. If you are dissatisfied with our reconsidered determination, you may request review in accordance with § 418.1350 for this subpart. A request for a new initial determination, described in § 418.1310, is not the same as a request for reconsideration or further administrative review.
We will follow the rules in § 418.1340, except that any references in that section to regulations in subpart B of this part shall be treated as references to the corresponding regulation in this subpart.

Further Reading



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