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How Do I file a Request for Reconsideration after my initial disability denial?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is offered to disabled workers who have a severe mental or physical health condition which is so severe that it will not allow them to work for at least 12 continuous months.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is offered to the blind, disabled and aged who have very limited income and resources and cannot work for at least 12 continuous months.

Many claimants have heard that all disability claims are denied the first time they apply. Is this true? No, many Social Security Disability Insurance claimants receive benefits immediately, especially if their condition “meets an SSA listing” or the claimant has a condition that is part of the compassionate allowance program and is immediately approved.

So what happens after you apply for SSDI or SSI benefits? After you file your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application the Social Security Administration is allowed 90 to 120 days to make their initial disability decision and up to 70% of the initial disability applications are denied.

Filing a Social Security Disability Reconsideration with the Social Security Administration

If you are one of the 70% of claimants who has been denied disability benefits you have a decision to make. Do you want to try to return to work, do you want to file an appeal of the denial or do you want to re-file your disability claim?

After your SSD application has been denied at the Social Security Disability application level you have 60 days to file your reconsideration (which is the first step in the Social Security Disability appeals process) with the Social Security Administration.

How do you file your request for reconsideration? You can contact a disability lawyer and they will be able to file all appeal requests for you or you can file the reconsideration on your own. If you decide to file the reconsideration on your own you will need to follow the details provided by the SSA.
The Social Security Administration provides information on filing a reconsideration with the SSD denial letter or you can contact the SSA at 1-800-772-1213.

Completing the Reconsideration Form

A Request for Reconsideration can be completed by filling out form (SSA-561). Information provided on the reconsideration form includes your name, Social Security number, the type of claim that you are appealing (listed on the notice of decision), the claim number (listed on the notice of decision), the reason for the appeal, your address and the contact information for your disability lawyer, if you have one.

Either you or your disability lawyer may sign the Request for Reconsideration. Sometimes a disability lawyer has been retained and loses contact with the disability claimant. If this occurs, the disability lawyer is allowed to make the Request for Reconsideration and sign it for their client.

The Social Security Administration requests that you very clearly state why you are appealing the denial decision. If the form does not provide enough information you can use another sheet of paper and attach it to the reconsideration form.

The Request for Reconsideration allows you to appeal a denial based on disability issues as well as non-disability issues, which are called “technical denials”. If you have been denied SSI, for instance, the reconsideration form allows you to decide if you would like the nonmedical reconsiderations to be done through a “case review,” an “informal conference”, or a “formal conference”.

What Happens during for the Reconsideration?

If you were denied disability benefits because the SSA determined you are not disabled, the SSA will allow another disability examiner to review your claim a second time to make the reconsideration decision. The Social Security Administration assigns your claim to someone who did not participate in the initial decision for your SSDI or SSI case.

How long will it take for the SSA to make a reconsideration decision? After the Social Security Administration receives your Request for Reconsideration it may take 30 to 90 days to make their decision. Unfortunately, up to 80% of claimants are denied a second time.

Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you would like a Social Security Disability attorney to review your claim you can fill out the FREE evaluation form and a disability advocate will call you to review your Social Security Disability Insurance claim or you can call our office at 1-800-641-3759 to talk to someone now.