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Form SSA-561-U2 | Social Security Request for Reconsideration

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Form SSA-561-U2 | Social Security Request for Reconsideration

Updated December 27, 2023

Form SSA-561-U2, also known as the Request for Reconsideration, is a document filed with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to appeal a determination regarding benefits. Claimants who believe the SSA erred in a decision can ask the SSA to look at their case again by filing SSA-561 or appealing online.

Table of Contents

Additional Forms

To appeal a decision with the SSA, two forms are required in addition to the Request for Reconsideration.[1]

Disability Report (SSA-3341) – explains in detail the claimant’s disability and how it impacts their ability to work

Download: PDF



Authorization to Disclose Information (SSA-827) – gives the SSA permission to access medical and other records

Download: PDF



Form Sections (8)

Form SSA-561-U2 is a four-page document that includes instructions for starting the appeal and asks for basic information about the case. The claimant only needs to submit the first page. Those who need assistance filling out the form can contact the SSA for referrals to free legal aid organizations.[2]

1. Name of Claimant

The claimant should provide their full legal name at the top of the form.

2. Social Security Number / Claim Number

The claim number assigned to a case is usually the same as the claimant’s social security number.[3] This information can be found on the initial determination from the SSA.

3. Issue Being Appealed

In this field, the claimant should list the area of social security under which their case falls. Common appeal types include:

  • Retirement
  • Disability
  • Hospital or medical
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Special Veterans Benefits (SVB)
  • Determination of overpayment

4. Reasons For Appeal

This section provides space for the claimant to briefly describe why they disagree with the SSA’s determination. In most cases, supporting documents should be submitted along with the appeal.

5. Type of Appeal (SSI or SVB Only)

Claimants appealing an SSI or SVB determination must check a box to indicate their desired appeal method. There are three ways to appeal:

  1. Case Review — Anyone can select this option to have the SSA review their case again with new information. This is the simplest method and does not entail a meeting with an SSA representative.
  2. Informal Conference — The informal conference is a meeting between the claimant, the SSA, and anyone the claimant wants to bring to help explain their case. This option is available for all SSI cases except medical issues and for SVB cases where payments are being ended or lowered.
  3. Formal Conference — Claimants whose payments are being ended or lowered can initiate a formal conference, which allows them to legally require witnesses to appear.

6. Claimant’s Signature

The claimant may sign the form in this section, although a signature is not required to process the form.

7. Contact Information

If the claimant has appointed another person to represent them in social security matters, the representative’s contact should be listed here. Otherwise, the claimant should list their own contact information.

8. Intake Section

The SSA will complete the last portion of the form upon receipt.

How to Submit

Person holding Social Security form and ID in front of SSA building.

The claimant or their representative can send or personally deliver the completed form to the Social Security office closest to where they live. The claimant should keep a copy of all documents in the appeal for their records.


Is there a deadline for filing an appeal?

The claimant must file their appeal with the SSA within 60 days of receiving the initial determination. The SSA accepts written requests for extensions if more time is needed.[4]

Can you file an appeal for social security online?

Woman online typing appeal on laptop computer.

Yes. Claimants can appeal medical and non-medical decisions through the SSA’s online system. When the process is complete, the claimant will receive a cover sheet listing any additional documents that must be mailed in.

Why are there identical pages repeated in Form SSA-561-U2?

The page to be filled out by the claimant is repeated twice on pages one and three of the document. One page is for submitting to the SSA, while the other is a copy for the claimant to keep.

How do I check the status of my appeal?

Hands with laptop displaying Social Security web page.

Claimants can create a personal account with the SSA to track their appeal status online. The claimant will be able to see their appeal information whether it was filed online, by mail, or in person.


  1. About Form SSA-561
  2. Form SSA-561-U2 (PDF)
  3. Filing a “Request for Reconsideration” | SSA Handbook
  4. Your Right to Question the Decision Made on Your Claim