Request for Reconsideration

If your application for Social Security Disability payments is denied, you may appeal the decision to the Social Security Administration. When you receive a letter denying your claim for Social Security Disability benefits, the appeals procedure begins. Along with alerting you that your application has been denied, the denial letter details which medical records were used to justify the refusal. The refusal letter is dated, and this date, plus five days, marks the beginning of the 60-day appeal period for the denial of your Social Security Disability application. In other words, if the date of your denial letter is January 13, the 60-day timeframe begins on January 18.

The appeals process is multi-tiered. The initial stage is referred to as a Request for Reconsideration. Reconsideration is also referred to as a Disability Redesign Protocol in some parts of the country. Eventually, the Disability Design Protocol will displace the Request for Reconsideration, but the Reconsideration process is still used in the majority of the country.

To be considered for Social Security Disability benefits, your Request for Reconsideration must be filed within the 60-day term. If you file your appeal late, you may still have it considered if you include a plausible explanation for the delay. Due to the subjective nature of the term “reasonable,” the prudent course of action is to submit your request within the allocated 60 days. You may need to obtain additional medical records during that time frame, so it is essential to begin working on your appeal immediately after receiving the letter denying your Social Security Disability benefits.

Many Requests for Reconsideration are denied, but this is frequently because applicants do not spend the time and effort necessary to provide the Social Security Administration with all of the information necessary to approve their claims. In that sense, it is critical to carefully analyze the denial letter and case file and to collaborate closely with your Claims Analyst. If you are frightened by the process and have not done so before, it is a good idea to hire a Social Security Disability advocate to assist you in filling out these forms and determining what additional information to attach.

Three papers must be submitted with your request: a Reconsideration Disability Report (for any new or extra information in your case), a Request for Reconsideration (the actual appeal form), and an Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration (basically a medical release form). Because the Request for Reconsideration contains a limited amount of space for you to describe your case, use that area to write “see attached” and attach medical records supporting your disability claim.

The purpose of submitting a Request for Reconsideration is to ascertain whether there are any gaps in the medical documents supplied the first time and to ascertain the grounds for denial of your application for Social Security Disability benefits. You can next focus your appeal on correcting inaccurate conclusions and/or providing missing medical records. You are permitted to study your file in order to determine which records were received and how the Claims Analyst arrived at his or her opinion. Then you’ll know what further information you need to provide.

Once submitted, your Request for Reconsideration and any accompanying documents will be examined by a Claims Analyst, who may request additional information and/or schedule you for a Consultative Examination. In other words, this appeal procedure is nearly identical to the first review procedure.