A Tip for Making a Request for a Disability Hearing

Most applicants for Social Security Disability or SSI disability benefits will be in the position of having to request a disability hearing at some point. This is simply due to the fact that most claimants will be denied for disability benefits at the first step in the process (filing an application for benefits) and will also be denied at the second step in the process (filing a request for reconsideration).

Making a request for a hearing is fairly simply. It simply involves contacting the social security office following the receipt of a reconsideration denial and requesting the appeal, at which point the social security office will mail out the appropriate forms.

What is a reconsideration? Reconsideration (actually known as a request for reconsideration) is the first appeal that a claimant can file for and this becomes available after a disability application has been denied. Reconsiderations are handled identically to disability applications. Since they are, though, it should come as no surprise that most reconsiderations are turned down as well. In fact, in most states, well more than half of all reconsideration appeals are turned down.

Because reconsiderations are turned down with such great frequency, most claimants will find it necessary to file their second appeal, which is a request for a disability hearing. Fortunately, more than half of all individuals who go to hearings have their cases approved and inevitably receive benefits.

Tip: if you have disability representation at the time your reconsideration is denied, you may have your disability attorney request your hearing for you. And if you do not have representation at this time, you may wish to consider locating a representative since a representative will be useful in preparing a case for a hearing, including gathering medical record updates and statements from physicians that support a claimant's case for benefits.

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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