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Most disability applicants will need to appeal a denial before they are granted disability benefits, except for those disability applicants with very strong cases or those with medical conditions that are expedited. You can appeal a Social Security decision after the first three levels of decision (initial application, reconsideration, ALJ hearing, and Appeals Council Review). You can't appeal a denial from a federal district court -- when claimants lose in federal court, they can either give up or start a brand new claim for disability benefits.