Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Reconsideration of a Social Security Disability denial- what does it involve?

Filing a Request for Reconsideration

If you wish to still pursue your disability claim after your initial disability application has been denied, it is a fairly simple procedure.

1. You can file the appeal online at the social security administration website.

2. You can contact your disability lawyer if you are represented and that individual's office will submit the appeal paperwork for you to the nearest social security office, most likely the same one that you filed your initial claim at. After the lawyer completes the appeal, they will mail you a copy of the appeal for your records and keep a copy for their own file.

This has the added benefit of not only keeping all parties on "the same page"; it also serves to prove to SSA that the appeal was submitted in a timely fashion if, for some reason, they do not receive their copy of the appeal (or simply lose it, which is not an uncommon occurrence).

3. Lastly, if you are not represented, you can contact the nearest social security office and advise them of your desire to appeal your claim denial. That will put them on notice to send out the correct appeal paperwork to you.

Remember, if your disability claim (social security disability or SSI) has been denied you will have sixty days to file an appeal. Note: You will have received a notice of denial with the date of the denial stamped in the upper right corner on the first page. This is the date to count the 60 days from.

This, of course, does not mean that you should mail the appeal in on the last day. The appeal actually has to be received by the end of the appeal period, so you shouldn't waste time in doing this.

Being Late on the Reconsideration Appeal (or any type of appeal filed with SSA)

If the Social Security Administration does not receive the disability appeal from you within the established appeal period (sixty days from the date of your denial), your request for reconsideration may not be granted...unless one of two things happens.

1. "Good cause" for a late filing is granted (such as a verifiable medical or family emergency) -- or

2. It can be proven that you did not receive the notice of denial and, therefore, did not have the opportunity to appeal (this also falls under good cause); this is why keeping copies of everything that is sent to SSA is a good idea and this is exactly why a disability attorney will usually keep a copy of anything that involves the case -- or

3. It can be proven that the social security office did, in fact, receive the submitted appeal. It does occasionally happen, meaning situations in which the claimant and their attorney insist that the appeal was sent in timely and the social security office later discovers the submitted paperwork tucked away in a file or on someone's desk.

If you are not granted good cause for a late appeal, or the social security office cannot find their copy of what you believe they really received, you will have to begin the Social Security disability process again by filing a new disability application with social security. In other words, you will have to start all over again.

Whether you have a disability attorney or not, to avoid a late filing of a request for reconsideration, if you receive a Social Security denial letter immediately contact your local Social Security office or the toll free number 1-800-772-1213 and request an appeal.

You may also visit the Social Security office and get the proper paperwork or you may request that the appropriate forms be mailed to you.

Of course, once again, if you are represented by an attorney, you can contact your attorney and have them file the request for reconsideration for you.

What happens on the Request for Reconsideration Appeal

A reconsideration is fundamentally the same as a disability application. A disability examiner (a different examiner than the first one) will review the medical evidence. If the claimant is an adult, the examiner will also review the individual's work history to see if there are jobs to which the person can return, or job skills that will allow them to do some type of other work.

If the claimant is a child, the examiner will review the claimant's school records and educational achievement scores, in addition to IQ testing.

Procedurally, there is no difference between the process involved in deciding the outcome of a reconsideration appeal versus a disability application.

However, there are two distinctions that can be made between disability applications and reconsiderations:

1. Reconsiderations have an even higher rate of denial. While applications are denied at roughly a 70 percent rate, approximately 87 percent of reconsiderations are denied.

2. Reconsiderations are usually decided faster because most of the evidence has been gathered by the disability examiner who worked on the initial claim.

What is the true usefulness of the reconsideration appeal, and should a claimant even bother to file this appeal? Every claimant who has the opportunity should file a request for reconsideration because there still remains a possibility of being approved at this level.

More importantly, though, after a reconsideration has been denied, a claimant can request a disability hearing. And it is at this level where previously denied claimants typically have the best chance of being awarded benefits.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

How to Appeal a disability claim denial from Social Security
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
What is a Social Security Disability Denial based on?
Are there ways to avoid being denied for SSI or social security disability?
What does a Disability Denial Letter from Social Security say?
Reconsideration of a Social Security Disability denial- what does it involve?
What to do if you receive notification of a Social Security Disability or SSI claim denial
If you receive a Social Security Disability Denial quickly does that mean the case is weak?
What happens if my SSI or Social Security Disability Application is denied?
Social Security Disability Denied The Reasons Why (medical denials)
Turned down at my disability hearing: should I appeal or refile?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

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

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
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?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria