How do I get approved on a disability reconsideration?

How to get a Social Security Reconsideration approved

The reconsideration appeal has the lowest chance of approval in the Social Security Disability process. As with every level of the system, approval and denial rates vary by state. But for the "request for reconsideration appeal", approval rates range from 10 percent to 14 percent. It goes without saying that that is very low.

Of course, if a person is denied on an SSD or SSI application after applying for disability, they should appeal, provided that their condition has not improved. In most states, just getting through the reconsideration phase gets you closer to a hearing before a Social Security judge where you can actually meet the individual who will decide your case.

Even so, if there's a way to improve the chance of getting approved for disability on a reconsideration appeal, it should be utilized for one basic reason, which is that requesting a disability hearing takes many months and getting a decision after a disability hearing also usually takes many months.

So how can you improve your chances of being approved with your reconsideration appeal? The best way you can improve your chance of being approved is to provide new and convincing medical evidence along with your reconsideration. This medical evidence could be evidence not included in the original medical determination (i.e. you listed a medical source but Social Security did not receive it), or it could actually be new medical evidence that supports a finding of disability. Either way, your reconsideration appeal may overturn the initial medical determination.

The other way your SSDI reconsideration appeal could be approved actually has nothing to do with anything you could get or do. If the original disability examiner made an error on your disability claim determination, you may be approved for disability if that error resolution changes the original decision.

This begs the question: how are you to know if an error was made? First of all, what would be an error be? Usually, it would be (the disability examiner) failing to find that the case actually met or equaled a disability listing, or that a medical vocational rule (the rules that direct decisions of disabled or not disabled based on the person's age, skills, education, and residual functional capacity) was not applied correctly.

To be sure, these kinds of errors don't get made often because disability examiners have their work checked by supervisory personnel to avoid such errors. However, because this is true, many people assume that is not worthwhile to check for an error. And this may not be a good approach.

Complicating it is the fact that very few claimants will know how to spot an error since it would actually require a real understanding of how decisions are made, as well as how medical evidence is interpreted. This being the case, it would generally take a disability attorney or disability representative to review the case file and decide if the decision was correct. And this doesn't usually happen until right before a case goes to a hearing (which is usually many months later). But that is not to say that a claimant cannot find a representative who will do the necessary work to examine a case beforehand. They are probably just few and far between. And if you find one, you should recommend that person to others.

As you can see, it is very difficult, but not impossible to be approved for disability with a reconsideration appeal. However, if your SSDI reconsideration is denied you should file a Request for an Administrative Law Judge Review appeal. It is worth your time as this level of the Social Security Disability process has the highest approval rate.

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