Steps to Take After Your Social Security Disability Claim was Denied

Attorney Brad BotesAppeal!

Years ago when I first started practicing Social Security disability law, the conventional wisdom was that with an attorney your chances of success at the hearing level of appeal in North Alabama ran as high as 60%-70%.

Unfortunately, the rate  of that high  success percentage  has plummeted.

According to, the Florence Office of Disability Adjudication and Appeal’s (ODAR’s) current approval rate is 31% -- the lowest of the four ODARs in Alabama.

Birmingham’s approval rate sits at 50%, Mobile is 45% and Montgomery is 41%.  Franklin TN’s ODAR, which has started handling hearings arising out of the Decatur area, is 53%.

So, according to the raw numbers alone, your chance of winning a hearing is 53% at best.  Depending upon where you live, however, it can be much lower.

Nevertheless, generally it is still higher than your chances of success at the initial application level, which hover around 30%.

Losing the Social Security Appeal

Losing at the hearing level of appeal does not necessarily spell the end of your claim.  You can appeal the Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ’s) decision to the Appeals Council.

Generally, this is a paper appeal and there is no hearing required.  You have to show that an egregious error was committed somewhere in the appeals process  that was contrary to law and resulted in an unjust decision.

Again, according to the raw numbers, the chances that the Appeals Council remands your claim for another hearing is about 17%, or rules outright in your favor  is about 1%.  There are a couple more possible outcomes but this gives you the general picture.  It takes about 18-24 months to get a response from the Appeals Council.

If you are not successful at the Appeals Council level of appeal, you can go even further and file suit against the Social Security Administration in Federal court, all the way to the Supreme Court.  Going to this length is fairly rare, however, and can take years to get a satisfactory resolution, if you can get one at all.

Remember, we are just talking about raw numbers here to give you an idea of what is currently happening in the SSA’s disability system these days.  Contact the attorneys at the Bond & Botes office nearest you for a free consultation of your situation.


Related Articles

Why was my SSD Claim Denied?

How Long Does a Social Security Disability Claim Case Last?



Share This Page

Bond & Botes Law Offices

At Bond & Botes, we now offer full service bankruptcy consultation and filing over the phone or by video from the comfort and safety of your home or office. Please call 1-877-581-3396 or click here to setup your free phone or video consultation.

The lawyers at the Bond & Botes affiliated offices serve clients at offices in Anniston, Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, Opelika, Decatur, Huntsville, Florence, Haleyville and Gadsden, Alabama; Vicksburg, Hattiesburg and Jackson, Mississippi. Read our disclaimer here. You can view our Privacy Policy here.

Alabama Offices


2107 5th Avenue North
Age-Herald Building
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
Phone: (205) 802-2200

Shelby County Location
15 Southlake Lane, Ste 140
Birmingham, AL 35244
Phone: (205) 802-2200

Florence Location
121 S. Court Street
Florence, AL 35630
Phone: (256) 760-1010

Huntsville Location
225 Pratt Avenue NE
Huntsville, AL 35801
Phone: (256) 539-9899

Montgomery Location
311 Catoma Street
Montgomery, AL 36104
Phone: (334) 264-3363

Decatur Location
605 Bank Street
Decatur, AL 35601
Phone: (256) 355-2447

Haleyville Location
914 19th St.
Haleyville, AL 35565
Phone: (205) 486-3580

Gadsden Location
430-B Chestnut Street
Gadsden, AL 35901
Phone: (256) 485-0195

Opelika Location
216 South 8th Street
Opelika 36801
Phone: (334) 887-7666

Anniston Location
1302 Noble St #2C
Anniston, AL 36201
Phone: (256) 344-3559

Cullman Location
200 Second Avenue SW
Cullman, AL 35055
Phone: (256) 739-9866

Mississippi Offices

Jackson Location
120 Southpointe Dr., A
Byram, MS 39272
Phone: (601) 353-5000

Hattiesburg Location
607 Corinne St, Ste B8
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
Phone: (601) 353-5000

Vicksburg Location
1212 Farmer Street
Vicksburg, MS 39180
Phone: (601) 353-5000

© 2024 by Bond & Botes Law Offices. All rights reserved. Disclaimer | Privacy Policy