For many people, applying for Social Security Disability is kind of a long-shot. Considering the fact that about 70% of all applicants are denied disability the first time they apply, you can see that it is not easy. So, if you have applied for disability, and you were denied, you should take heart in the fact that you are in good (and crowded) company. You should also take heart in the fact that your application process does not have to end here. This is because the SSA has put a system of appeals into place to help those who were denied, but still have a strong case, get a second chance. The first step in this process is the request for reconsideration.
What is a Request for Reconsideration
When you file a request for reconsideration, you are doing exactly what the name suggests — you are asking your local disability examiner’s office to look over your case files once again, in case a mistake was made or something was missed. When you file this request, the case and its files go back to the same office as your initial application information. A different examiner looks over your case this time, however, and evaluates the evidence and information you’ve submitted.
While Social Security disability reconsideration can sometimes result in the SSA overturning its original decision, that doesn’t always happen. This is due to the fact that you are basically submitting the exact same information as before. Although you might have some updated medical records to add to the documentation, unless these new records have some sort of shocking news, the records aren’t going to say much more during the reconsideration than they did the first time. And while their might be a new examiner taking a look at your case, he or she is bound by the very same rules that were in place for your original application — which means that if the evidence wasn’t strong enough to get approved the first time around, it most likely will not be strong enough this second time. In reality, the only way that can typically happen is if something crucial was missed the first time around. This is possible, but not very likely.
Why File A Request for Reconsideration?
So, you’re probably saying to yourself, “If I’m most likely going to be turned down, then what’s the point?” The reason to file this request is that, even if it does not often result in a change, it allows you the option to take your appeals request even further. Many applicants who are denied both initially and in the reconsideration eventually end up getting approved once they can take their case in front of a judge for an actual hearing. However, you’ll never get that far if you don’t jump through the necessary hoops to get there in the first place.
Important Things to Remember
If you are thinking about filing a request for a Social Security disability reconsideration, keep the following in mind:
– The clock is ticking. Once you are denied benefits, you have 60 days to file your request for reconsideration. While you probably have most of your information already ready to go, you will need to update some records and re-compile your documents, so you really don’t have much time to spare!
– Do NOT simply re-file an application! This is maybe the biggest mistake people make: when denied benefits, they ignore the appeals process, and instead just opt to re-file an initial application. This will almost always end the exact same way, because you are just re-submitting the same information and expecting a different answer. The ONLY way to have a real chance at turning a “no” into a “yes” is by going through the appeals process.
– Don’t give up! Like we said earlier — the reconsideration phase almost always ends in a no, but you have to get through it before you can see a judge. And THIS is the stage where many applicants start to see real progress with their cases.
If you would like to know more, or need help filing that request for reconsideration, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.