Supplement Security Income benefits are available to you if you are over 65 or have a disability and you have a low income. You must meet income requirements along with meeting Social Security definitions for disability, if applicable. 

The Social Security Administration explains that you always have the right to appeal a decision it makes on your SSI benefits. When you file for an appeal, you are essentially asking the SSA to look at your case again to ensure its first decision was correct. The SSA will review your complete claim again. If you are only appealing one specific decision, it does not matter as the review must occur on your whole case. 

Steps in an appeal 

You will begin your appeal when you receive a written initial determination with which you do not agree. You have 60 days in which to appeal. This first appeal is a reconsideration where the SSA will review your case again. 

If you disagree with the result of the reconsideration, you can ask for a hearing in which an administrative law judge will hear your case. If you disagree with the judge’s decision, you can then go before the appeals council. 

If you do not get the result you want in the appeals council, you will have to go to federal court. You may also go to federal court if the appeals council refuses to hear your case. A federal case takes place in a U.S. District Court. 

What you can appeal 

You may appeal an SSA decision if you do not agree with the amount of benefits in your award. You may appeal if you received a denial of benefits. You may also appeal if you received an overpayment to dispute the amount you must pay back.