How long does it take for Social Security Disability appeals?
It should be noted that reconsideration appeal decisions are often made very quickly. This is because most of the case development that was done on the initial application for disability is very recent. The medical records, as well, are also most likely very recent. And, in cases where the claimant has not been back to see one of their doctors it may be that there are no additional medical records to evaluate. So, while a decision on an initial claim will average 90-120 days, a reconsideration appeal decision is often completed in less than half that amount of time.
In cases where no additional medical treatment has been indicated by the claimant, and the evidence that was previously submitted for the application level is beginning to "age out" (become older than 60 days), it may be that the reconsideration examiner will need to schedule a consultative medical exam. In other cases, it may be that the reconsideration appeal will be done very quickly with no real purpose other than to verify that the first examiner who worked on the disability application made a valid decision that does not need to be overturned.
Regarding reconsideration approval-denial statistics, to be more specific, in a recent year (according to data provided by the Social Security Administration), approximately 16 percent of SSDI (Social Security Disability insurance) cases were approved at the reconsideration level, while only 11 percent of SSI disability cases were approved. Nationally, about 15 percent of reconsideration appeals are typically approved. In general, reconsiderations have a fairly low rate of approval.
And it is for this reason that their primary utility value is in simply getting through this step so that a disability hearing may be requested.
For more, see How long does a Social Security Disability appeal take?.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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