With the Social Security Administration (SSA) denying a majority of claims for disability benefits, applicants have to go through a four-step appeals process to receive financial assistance. The first step of the appeals process is called Social Security disability reconsideration. If you had your disability claim denied, you should learn more about how the disability reconsideration process works.
As the first step after a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) denial, reconsideration unfolds in a similar manner as the original SSDI claim. You submit your appeal to the same SSA medical review panel that reviewed your initial application. The most significant difference between the original claim and the disability reconsideration appeal is the SSA appoints different members of its medical review panel to analyze your disability appeal.
As with the original application, the SSA denies most of the disability reconsideration appeals. By following a few tips, you have a much better chance of having your original SSDI denial come back approved during the first step of the appeals process.
Tips to File a Strong Reconsideration Appeal
The first tip to help win a disability reconsideration appeal is to file the correct paperwork. You need to submit the following three forms to get your appeal reviewed by the SSA.
- Form SSA-561: Request for Reconsideration
- Reconsideration Disability Report
- Authorization to Disclose Information to the SSA
The Reconsideration Report is the form that presents new information concerning your original claim, while the Authorization to Disclose Information to the SSA is a medical release form.
Submit Additional Supporting Evidence
One of the primary reasons the SSA denies SSDI claims is a lack of evidence. Providing the SSA with additional documentation for the disability reconsideration process is vital in getting your appeal approved. Without additional medical evidence, the Disability Determination Services (DDS) does not receive enough information to overrule the original SSDI denial. You also should make sure DDS has access to all your medical records, which your physician makes available by uploading online documents.
Act with a Sense of Urgency
If you receive an SSDI denial from the SSA, you have 60 days from the date listed on the denial letter to file a disability appeal. If you do not meet the 60-day deadline to file for reconsideration, you will have to restart the SSDI claim process. The 60-day deadline to file a disability reconsideration appeal does not mean you should wait until day number 59 to submit the right paperwork. The sooner you file a disability appeal, the quicker the SSA issues a decision regarding your claim.
Acting with a sense of urgency improves the chances of having your appeal approved by the SSA.
The Most Important Tip: Work with a Social Security Attorney
Because a reconsideration appeal goes through the same review channel as the original SSDI claim, the chances of getting your disability appeal approved by the SSA are not good. In fact, a report released by the SSA stated the agency denied 87 percent of all cases heard during the first stage of the appeals process in 2018. One of the most effective ways to improve your chances during reconsideration is by hiring a state-licensed Social Security lawyer.
Your attorney will know how to strengthen your case by submitting additional convincing documentation from both your physician and employer. Hiring a lawyer also ensures you file for reconsideration long before the 60-day deadline.
Schedule a free case evaluation with a Social Security attorney today to boost your chances of winning a disability appeal.