How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

The Disability reconsideration Appeal - what is it and how do you file for it?

The disability reconsideration is the first level of appeal for a denial of a Social Security Disability or SSI disability claim. A reconsideration is essentially this: the social security administration will simply take a second look at your disability claim to see if the first decision (when your disability application was denied) was correct or incorrect.

As with the application for disability, your case will be assigned to a disability examiner at the state disability processing agency. In most states, this agency is referrred as the DDS, or disability determination services agency.

Processing the Reconsideration appeal

At DDS, social security may request your medical records again, particularly if you indicate on the appeal forms that you have had new treatment with your current physician or physicians, or that you have a new source of treatment.

Of course, you may be sent to a consultative medical examination (CE for short). These exams are performed by independent doctors and psychologists and generally serve the purpose of providing recent documentation to a decision-maker on a claim if the claimant does not have recent medical records in their file ("recent", for social security purposes, means having at least some evidence that is not older than 90 days)

How long does it take to process a reconsideration appeal? Ordinarily, no longer than a disability application. Typically, a reconsideration decision on a disability claim is made faster than on a disability application and it is not unreasonable to expect a decision within eight weeks. Unfortunately, in most cases, you are even more likely to be denied on a reconsideration than on a disability application. In prior years, the average national rate of denial on a request for reconsideration was 85 percent.

Recent reporting of federal statistics indicates that it is now approximately 87 percent. Bear in mind that this is a national average and that the denial rate on a reconsideration may be higher in some states, and lower in others.

Why are reconsiderations turned down so often?

Simply because the reconsideration decision is made by the same agency (DDS) that denied the claim in the first place. The only real difference is that a different disability examiner makes the decision, usually using the exact same medical evidence, and usually within just a few weeks of the first decision--which was a denial of the claim--having been made. In most cases, given this type of setup, it would be illogical to think that any decision that was different from the first would be reached.

In cases where a claim is approved on a reconsideration appeal, it is often because the disability examiner who decided the initial claim, a.k.a. the disability application, so clearly flubbed the decision (so much so that the reconsideration-level examiner who takes a second look at the claim cannot ignore the incompetence of the decision) OR because new medical information has surfaced, such as a new diagnosis or a downgrade in the claimant's condition by the claimant's doctor or doctors.

The real reason you should file a reconsideration

Reconsideration appeals are practically doomed to fail. But that doesn't mean that they are not worth doing. First of all, a small percentage of them do get approved. This by itself makes a reconsideration worth filing. However, in most cases, the tactical value of a reconsideration is that if a person gets denied on this appeal, they can then file the next appeal which is a request for a disability hearing. And at hearings, those with representation have a substantially higher chance of being approved for disability benefits.

This is even more so if the case is properly prepared (obtaining medical record updates and submitting them to the judge, getting statements from the claimant's doctor or doctors and submitting them as well, and also being prepared to counter statements raised by expert witnesses called to the hearing by the administrative law judge). Disability hearings involving representation are typically won more than 60 percent of the time.

You may contact your local Social Security office to request your reconsideration paper work and if you have a disability lawyer you can simply contact this individual to handle your request for reconsideration.

Whether you submit a reconsideration or your attorney does, the reconsideration appeal must be submitted to social security within sixty-five days (the sixty day appeal deadline plus 5 days allowed for mailing). This means it must actually be received by the Social Security Administration, not just post marked, by the sixty-fifth day.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

What Happens if a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim gets Denied on a Reconsideration Appeal?
The Disability reconsideration Appeal - what is it and how do you file for it?
What happens if a reconsideration for Social Security Disability or SSI is denied?
Does The Social Security Reconsideration Take as Long As The Disability Application?
Does The Social Security Disability Reconsideration Have A Time Limit?
How long does it take to get an answer on a Social Security Reconsideration Appeal?
Disability Approval Chances at the Social Security Reconsideration and Hearing Levels
What Can You Do to Make Sure Your Social Security Disability Reconsideration Gets Approved?
Do Most Social Security Disability Reconsiderations Get Turned Down?
The difference between an Application for disability and a Social Security Reconsideration?
Can you file for Temporary Disability Income with Social Security?
If you apply for disability in in Colorado
Getting a Disability Lawyer in Colorado

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.