How can I increase my chances of success during the reconsideration process?
Recently, the Social Security Administration elected to reinstate the Reconsideration step to the disability adjudication process in ten different states. Reconsideration has been reinstated in the states of New York, California, Colorado, Louisiana, and New Hampshire since January of 2019. Five other states will see a reinstatement of reconsideration on a rolling basis this year and next. These states include Alabama, Alaska, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Missouri. For SSDI applicants in the ten impacted states, it is important to understand the pros and cons of reconsideration and how you can potentially speed up your application.
What is Reconsideration?
Over half of all SSDI applicants will have their claim denied upon initial filing. In states that allow for reconsideration, denied applicants will need to file an appeal at the reconsideration level. In doing so, the applicant could potentially avoid the long delays associated with obtaining a hearing with an administrative law judge.
Those considering seeking reconsideration should be forewarned, however, that this process can also lead to delays. The reconsideration process commonly adds between three and six months to the processing of your claim. The rate of claim denials reversed during the reconsideration process is low for those without legal representation but climbs significantly should the applicant seek the help of legal counsel.
The Reconsideration Process
If your SSDI claim has been denied in New York, then it is critical that you file a reconsideration notice within 60 days of receiving your decision from the SSA. Your file will then be sent back to the Social Security office for review. Although this is the same office that processed your original claim, your reconsideration will be reviewed by a different examiner.
Reconsideration examiners will review the file based on the same standards as the initial examiner. As such, your claim will likely be denied on reconsideration unless vital information was left out of your initial application. For this reason, it is crucial that you retain the assistance of an experienced SSDI attorney who can review your initial application and supplement it with information that could lead to a different outcome.