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Social Security Disability Reconsideration


Step 2: Request For Reconsideration

If you are denied disability benefits in the initial stage, you may appeal the decision by filing a request for reconsideration with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Once you receive your denial letter, you have 60 days to file your request of reconsideration. There are several reasons why you might have been denied benefits and reconsideration gives you a second chance to fix those issues. This is the first step in the appeal process.

Why was I denied benefits in the initial stage?

The SSA will deny you for several reasons including:

  • You are missing or lacking medical documentation of your condition.
  • You failed to attend a consultative medical exam.
  • Application was not properly filled out.
  • Applicant’s disabling condition is treatable in under a year.
  • Applicant is not seeking regular medical treatment with a doctor or medical specialist.
  • Applicant is working above Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) levels earning more than $1,090 per month.


Filing a request for reconsideration

Once you receive a denial from the SSA, you have 60 days from that point to file a request for reconsideration. If for whatever reason you don’t file a request for reconsideration within that time period, you will have to start the application process all over again from the initial stage. It is better to file a request for reconsideration than start over again because not only do you have a better chance at approval, the SSA will most likely deny you again if you attempt to re-apply at the initial stage with the same condition.

After you submit your request for reconsideration, your application will be sent back to the same Disability Determinations Services (DDS) office for another review. However, this time your case will be evaluated by a different disability examiner along side a different doctor. They are still restricted to the same rules as the examiner who originally reviewed your case in the initial stage. This results in many denials at the reconsideration stage. Although you have an opportunity to improve your chances by providing the DDS office with any updated or new documentation from your doctor(s) that may have developed since you submitted your initial application.

Chances of Approval

If you filed a request for reconsideration, you will unfortunately have less than a 10% chance of getting approved. There are only two ways to increase your chances for approval. The first way was already mentioned, that is to provide the DDS office with any new or updated documentation from your doctor(s) regarding your condition. The second way is to seek help through a disability advocate or attorney. A qualified, experienced disability advocate or attorney can improve your chances by 15 to 20%. Contact the Disability Care Center if you need assistance through the reconsideration process.

How will it take to receive a decision?

The reconsideration stage generally takes 30 to 90 days to receive a decision about your disabling condition. If you are denied benefits at the reconsideration stage, you have 60 days to file a request for hearing (appeal hearing) before an administrative law judge (ALJ).