If your application for social security disability benefits is denied, you may file an appeal with the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are four levels in the social security disability appeals process. Disability reconsideration review is the first step in the appeals process.
A disability reconsideration review is exactly that – a complete review of your social security disability application. The disability reconsideration review is handled at the same Disability Determination Services (DDS) office that handled your original application. However, it will be assigned to a disability review examiner who played no part in the initial review of your claim.
Below is what you can expect to happen during your disability reconsideration review.
Notice of Intent to Appeal
The first step is to notify the SSA of your intent to appeal the denial of benefits. You must appeal the denial of social security disability benefits within 60 days from the date you received the SSA’s denial letter. The SSA assumes that the denial letter arrives no later than five days from the date posted on the letter. This means you technically have 65 days from the date listed on the denial letter to request a disability reconsideration review.
If you fail to file a notice of intent to appeal within the 65 day period, or if you fail to provide the SSA with proof that its denial letter arrived more than five days after the date listed on the letter, you will be unable to file an appeal. Instead you must file a brand new claim.
You may file a notice of intent to appeal at your local SSA office or online. A social security disability attorney can help you decide whether filing a written or online appeal is the better option.
Reconsideration Review of Social Security Disability Claim
Once the appeal is filed your case will be assigned to a new disability examiner, who will review all of the medical documents you submitted with your original claim. The disability examiner will also review any new information regarding your disability that has become available since the initial review.
The majority of claims submitted for disability reconsideration review are denied – it is estimated that only 10 – 15% of claims are approved during this level of the appeals process. Unless the original disability examiner made a mistake, or new medical evidence supporting your disability is available, it is unlikely that your claim will be approved. It is therefore extremely important that you provide the disability examiner with any additional medical documents that support your disability.
Meeting with the Disability Reconsideration Review Officer
A Meeting with the disability reconsideration review examiner is only required if your disability claim was denied based on an improved medical condition. However, you may request a face-to-face meeting with the disability examiner to discuss your claim and your medical condition. If you are able to meet with the disability examiner, a face-to-face meeting may slightly increase the chance that your claim will be approved during the disability reconsideration review. The disability review examiner will not only witness first-hand the effect your disability has on you, but will also ask questions that will make the severity of your disability more apparent than simply what is written in the medical documentation.
Decision on Disability Reconsideration Review
The disability reconsideration review examiner has access to your file when you file your appeal. This means you should receive a decision on your appeal much more quickly than you received the denial letter. Depending on whether you have new medical information to submit, you can expect the disability reconsideration review to be completed, and a decision made within four to twelve weeks from the date you submit the appeal.
Do you need to appeal your SSD determination? Consider the Law Office of Neil H. Good to get experienced legal assistance with your case. Contact us online or call #(847) 577-4476.