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If your initial disability claim was denied by the Social Security Administration, you can appeal. The first level of appeal, really a formality, is a "reconsideration" by a claims examiner at Disability Determination Services (DDS). Most reconsiderations are denied, but in most states it's a necessary step to get a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. The following states don't require a reconsideration; in these states the appeal hearing is the first level of appeal: Alabama, Alaska, California (Los Angeles North and Los Angeles West Branches only), Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania.