Social Security Disability Appeal Letter Samples

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program designed to provide financial support for people with disabilities that prevent them from working.

However, the Social Security Administration relies on a strict definition of “disability.” As a result, the Social Security Administration determines who gets disability benefits. As a result, not all applications are approved because not everyone meets the Social Security Administration’s disability eligibility requirements. If your application for SSDI is denied, you may appeal the agency’s decision through an appeal letter.

An appeal essentially means that a second examiner will review your file and compare it to your doctor’s evidence. The letter should include your details, case file number, relevant information, applicable medical details, and other details that support your case. In addition, you can appeal if your benefits are changed. This article guides how to properly craft an appeal letter to appeal the denial of social security benefits for disability and the steps to take when writing one.

Free Templates

Free Downloadable Social Security Disability Appeal Letter Sample 01 as Word Document

Free Downloadable Social Security Disability Appeal Letter Sample 02 as Word Document

    Considerations Before Writing the Letter

    An appeal letter claiming social security benefits is a document you want to get right before issuing it. As a result, you have to prepare and plan adequately to produce a high-quality letter.

    Some of the factors to consider while writing the letter to claim social security benefits for your disability include the following:

    Read your decision notice carefully

    Appealing for social security benefits for disability denial through a letter can be daunting. You must read the denial notice carefully and understand what you have to do to have your case reconsidered.

    First, determine the rationale behind the denial. It is best to look for the medical condition description, impairments evaluated by the SSA, medical sources (such as physicians), and non-medical sources (such as social workers and family members) that were used to analyze your claim and justify its denial.

    Understand the reason for the denial

    Your goal for writing the letter is to get benefits for any disability that is rightfully yours.

    To do this, you must determine the main reason behind your denial.

    • Is it because of a missing medical report or inadequate information?
    • Is it because your disability condition does not qualify for disability benefits?

    Understanding the rationale behind your denial will help you get a good start on the SSD appeal letter.

    Get documents that support your arguments

    Ensure that you have all the relevant medical and non-medical records to support your case. Copies of medical test results, diagnosis reports, and hospitalization records are some of the documents you should include in your letter. It is imperative to preserve a record of your disability/illness, condition, and treatment plans when crafting the letter for social security benefits to the SSA (Social Security Administration).

    They might come in handy in cases of denial. In addition, you should ensure the documents are accurate and adequately detailed. These documents will help you document your case when drafting the letter. The Social Security Administration is a comprehensive agency. They will check every aspect of your claim to determine whether it meets their criteria for disability benefits.

    Call the SSA

    Talk to the field office if you are unsure whether your claim meets the Social Security Administration’s criteria or don’t want to go through the online process. The agency’s number is 1-800-772-1213.

    A knowledgeable representative will be available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mondays to Fridays. The representative will request your name and social security number and then give you a clearer understanding of what exactly is required to improve your case.

    Writing Steps for Appeal Letter

    Once you have carefully considered all of the details, it is time to put your thoughts together into a comprehensive and effective letter to claim social security benefits for your disability. Appealing your social security benefits for disability is necessary, and you will have to take specific steps to write this letter correctly.

    Below are the steps for writing a convincing appeal letter that supports your case effectively:

    Go to the SSA website and open the form

    Search for the form using the main keywords, “disability claim,” or go directly to the SSA website. There is a form like the one you see when you apply. First, ensure that you select the correct SSA disability claim form. Next, read the instructions under “Getting Ready,” open the form, fill out the essential details such as name, accurate date of birth, and social security number, and click “Start a new appeal.”

    Point out the reasons you disagree with

    Next, review the reasons provided by the agency as the basis for denial and discuss why you disagree with them. Provide substantial information and address each reason one after the other. Sometimes you may need more space than is available on the form to present your case adequately. In such a case, write the letter appealing the denial of social security benefits for disability on separate pages and attach it to the form, then instruct the reader to “see attached.” 

    Supply missing medical information

    In some situations, the information you provide in the letter may not be enough to secure your claim for social security benefits. You may need to provide more in-depth information that fully supports your claims regarding medical issues. In such a case, attach old and recent medical reports and records missed in the initial application and submit them to the Social Security Administration.

    This can include a letter from the doctor acknowledging your disability, medical results, and any other supporting documentation. The more details you present, the better chance you have of convincing the SSA that your disability rating should be granted. It’ll be difficult for the agency to deny your appeal with sufficient medical evidence.

    Summarize the documents you have attached

    You can then mention the documents in the body of your letter. You can write a separate paragraph after you have attached the supporting documents that support your case against the denial of your social security benefits for disability. Summarize their content or state their relevancy to the request and provide their source (for example, “Dr. Smith’s letter of 11/1/2015”) so that your readers can easily verify the information.

    Choose how you wish to appeal

    Next, you’ll be prompted to select how you want to make your appeal, either through a case review or an informal conference. A case review requires a representative of the Social Security Administration to go over your appeal application to determine if the denial should be overturned. An informal conference involves meeting with the agency’s representative and discussing your case. This method is primarily preferred as it actively allows you to participate in the review process.

    Write your name and claim number

    Then, provide your name and claim number to the letter claiming social security benefits for disability. This information should be provided in the upper section of the letter. This is important, mainly if it is being submitted as an attached document.

    Fill out a disability report

    Finally, if you are appealing a medical decision, you need to fill out the disability report at the end of the form. You will need to answer questions about your medical condition, cause, type of interventions (names and dosages of medications), medical procedures performed, and the contact details of the physicians and specialists who have treated you. This report should be written on the form provided under SSA-3441-BK Disability Report—Appeal on the SSA website

    Related: Form SSA-3288 [Social Security Administration]

    Submit your request to SSA

    You are then requested to choose how you wish to submit your letter claiming social security benefits for disability. You can print out the form or submit it online. If you opt for online submission, upload the documents you’ve filled out and scanned, then submit. You should send your letter as a PDF attachment, preferably.

    If you are completing the form online, check to confirm that your submission was sent and there are no errors before you close the form. Conversely, if you submit the appeal on paper, send it to the local Social Security office. To acquire the address, visit the website and input your location’s ZIP code.

    Social Security Disability Insurance Appeal Letter Template

    [Your Name]

    [Your Social Security Number]

    [Your Address]

    [City, State, Zip Code]

    [Phone Number]

    [Email Address (if applicable)]


    Social Security Administration

    Office of Disability Adjudication and Review

    [Address of the Local SSA Office]

    [City, State, Zip Code]

    Re: Request for Reconsideration of Disability Claim Denial

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am writing to formally request a reconsideration of the recent decision to deny my application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. My claim, initially filed on [Date of Initial Application], was denied on [Date of Denial], as detailed in the letter I received from your office. I believe that this decision does not accurately reflect the severity of my condition and its impact on my ability to work, and I am providing additional information to support my case.

    • Social Security Number: [Your Social Security Number]
    • Claim Number: [Your Claim Number, if different]

    After carefully reviewing the reasons for denial stated in your letter, I respectfully contest the decision based on the following grounds:

    • Medical Evidence Not Fully Considered: I understand that the decision mentioned a lack of sufficient medical evidence to support my claim. However, I believe that not all of my medical records and the evidence of my condition’s severity were considered. I have continued to seek medical treatment and have additional documentation that provides a more comprehensive view of my health status.
    • New Medical Evidence: Enclosed with this letter, please find updated medical records, including [list any new tests, diagnoses, or treatments since your last application], which further substantiate my inability to maintain gainful employment due to my disability.
    • Condition Has Worsened: Since my initial application, my condition has deteriorated, affecting my daily activities and capabilities more significantly. [Briefly describe how your condition has worsened and its impact on your daily life and ability to work.]
    • Incorrect Information: [If applicable, mention any specific incorrect or overlooked information in your original application or the SSA’s decision.]

    Given these points, I kindly request a thorough review of my case and the additional evidence provided. I am confident that this information will demonstrate the debilitating nature of my condition and my eligibility for SSDI benefits.

    I am eager to cooperate fully and provide any further information or documentation needed for the reconsideration of my claim. I am also willing to undergo any additional medical examinations if required.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to your prompt response and hope for a favorable reconsideration of my application. Please contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address] should you have any questions or need further clarification.


    [Your Name]

    [Your Signature (if sending a hard copy)]

    Enclosures: [List the documents you are including, such as medical records, letters from doctors, etc.]

    Sample Social Security Disability Insurance Appeal Letter

    Re: Request for Reconsideration of Disability Claim Denial

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am writing to formally appeal the denial of my Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits application, which I initially filed on May 15, 20XX, and was denied on January 20, 20XX. My claim number is 001-23-4567. My Social Security number is 123-45-6789.

    The decision to deny my claim, as indicated in the letter I received, appears to have been based on an incomplete assessment of my medical condition and its impact on my ability to work. I am requesting reconsideration of this decision, as I believe additional medical evidence and clarification of my condition’s severity will substantiate my claim.

    Since the denial of my application, I have obtained further medical evaluations and documentation that highlight the progression of my condition, which I believe was not fully considered in the initial review. Enclosed with this letter, please find updated medical records from Dr. Emily Thompson, a specialist in chronic pain management, who has been overseeing my treatment since February 20XX.

    These documents include:

    • A detailed report outlining the progression of my chronic back pain, dated February 5, 20XX.
    • MRI results from January 30, 20XX, showing significant deterioration since my last application.
    • A new treatment plan that underscores the limitations imposed by my condition, including a recommendation for surgery.

    My condition has significantly worsened since my initial application, affecting not only my physical capabilities but also my mental health. The chronic pain I experience daily has made it impossible for me to maintain employment in any capacity, as confirmed by Dr. Thompson’s latest assessment. The enclosed documentation provides a comprehensive overview of my current health status and clearly demonstrates the debilitating nature of my condition.

    I believe that the initial decision may have also overlooked the cumulative impact of my disability on my daily activities and overall quality of life. I am no longer able to perform basic tasks without assistance, let alone fulfill the demands of a full-time job.

    Given this new evidence and the critical impact of my disability on my ability to work, I respectfully request that my application be reconsidered. I am fully prepared to provide any additional information or undergo further medical examinations as needed to facilitate the review of my appeal.

    I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter and hope for a favorable outcome upon reconsideration of my claim. Should you have any questions or require further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact me at 555-987-6543 or via email at

    Thank you for reconsidering my application for SSDI benefits. I look forward to your response.


    Jordan Lee


    1. Dr. Emily Thompson’s Medical Report (February 5, 20XX)
    2. MRI Results (January 30, 20XX)
    3. Recommended Treatment Plan (February 5, 20XX)


    This letter is an effective example of how to formally request the reconsideration of a denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits claim. It outlines a structured and detailed appeal, providing a clear connection between the applicant’s medical condition and their inability to work. By including the claim and Social Security numbers, the letter ensures that the appeal is properly matched with the existing file, facilitating a smooth review process. The inclusion of new medical evidence, such as updated reports, MRI results, and a new treatment plan, strengthens the appeal by presenting concrete data to support the claim of worsening conditions not previously considered. The letter articulates the physical and mental impact of the condition on the applicant’s daily life and employment capabilities, emphasizing the necessity of benefits. It also demonstrates a willingness to cooperate further, offering to provide additional information or undergo more examinations. This approach not only shows respect for the review process but also underscores the seriousness of the applicant’s condition and their need for support. Overall, the letter effectively communicates the grounds for appeal, making a compelling case for the reconsideration of the denied SSDI benefits claim.

    Pro Tips

    Each appeal letter claiming social security benefits for any disability will be unique to the situation. Thus, it would be best to focus on crafting a letter that effectively defends your case. Be aware, however, that the SSA is highly likely to reject an application in which there are any errors or omissions of essential information.

    The tips offered below can help you develop a strong letter to claim social security benefits for your specific disability, regardless of your circumstances:

    Stay focused and concise.

    Your letter should not be a memoir of your disability. Stick to the facts and avoid unnecessary details that are not relevant to your disability claim. When it comes to elaborating on details, focus on providing relevant information about your eligibility for disability benefits and including information about how it affects you physically, emotionally, and mentally.

    Write in detail

    Be detailed and elaborate on the information you present in your letter. The SSA may reject your application if it lacks sufficient evidence. Therefore, the more relevant evidence you provide and the more detailed you become, the stronger your case and the better your odds of obtaining a positive response.

    Be polite and professional

    Your letter to claim social security benefits should be professional, courteous, clear, concise, and easy to understand. The best way to present an effective letter is to avoid slang, abbreviations, acronyms, and formatting like a formal business letter.

    Suppose you’re in a position where you would need the help of a lawyer. In that case, it is recommended that you get one from referrals by friends and relatives on disability or from your local bar association or local legal aid office and provide them with relevant information for help. Local bar association lawyers can be found on the website, so go over to your state bar. In addition, legal aid in your state can be obtained from a quick online search.

    Bottom Line

    Unless you act quickly, the Social Security Administration has to decide your claim before you have an opportunity to gather all of your medical evidence. A disabled worker’s claim is initially denied because it was not filed promptly in many cases. Suppose you have been previously denied social security benefits for your disability. In that case, you must understand how to appeal the decision to include new or additional evidence through an appeal letter claiming social security benefits for your disability.

    Suppose you have sufficient medical evidence supporting your request to get disability benefits. In that case, you are highly urged to get a lawyer to assist you in writing the letter or help you with your application. Having a solid application will improve your chances of getting approved immediately. Also, try to go over several samples to claim social security benefits to learn how to write effective letters.

    About This Article

    Susan Cain
    Authored by:
    Writing Authority | Research Specialist | Public Relations Graduate
    Boasting a decade-long career in the content creation arena, Susan Cain has carved a niche for herself as a leading expert in the field. A graduate in public relations, her writing acumen is complemented by her rigorous research skills, making her a dual asset in both content generation and data-backed storytelling. With a keen eye for detail and an academic background in public relations, Susan seamlessly blends persuasive narrative with factual depth, providing content that is both engaging and enlightening. Her multifaceted expertise not only establishes her as a prominent content writer but also as a thought leader in leveraging the symbiotic relationship between effective communication and substantive research.

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