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You’re probably already aware that the Social Security process can be a lengthy one. There’s also a good chance you’ve heard that most people who apply for disability are denied at least once. But do you know what happens after that initial application is denied? What should you do next? What is the next step?
If your initial application is denied, which is frequently the case, and you have a disability which keeps you from working, what should you do? It’s simple: you file an appeal called a Request for Reconsideration. The most important thing to remember about the Request for Reconsideration is that it must be filed within sixty (60) days of the initial denial. Filing a Request for Reconsideration can be a simple process. The form, officially called Form SSA-561-U2, can be picked up in person at your local SSA office, or you can get a copy online via the SSA website at SSA.gov.
In addition to the Reconsideration paperwork, you will also be required to complete the Disability Report. This is officially referred to as Form SSA-3441-BK. The last form which must be submitted is another Authorization to Disclose Information to the SSA (Form SSA-827).
All of these forms must be filled out completely in order to be effective. Be sure to review your denial letter, too. The denial letter will include the correct address to send your appeal to. We recommend sending the Request for Reconsideration via certified mail to help ensure the SSA receives your paperwork.
In addition to the forms listed above, you will also want to strengthen your case. This includes submitting any new and material medical evidence that the SSA doesn’t already have. In addition to traditional medical evidence, be sure to submit any non-traditional evidence like headaches, panic attack, or seizure journals to the SSA.
The Request for Reconsideration goes to the Disability Determining Section (DDS), which is a state agency that is involved with making disability decisions at the Initial and Reconsideration levels in a claim. Although DDS will also make the decision on your Request for Reconsideration, your claim will be assigned to a different Disability Examiner to make this decision.
Once DDS receives your Request for Reconsideration, they will begin to gather updated medical evidence and review your claim again. On average, it can take DDS 3-6 months to make the Reconsideration decision. Unfortunately, most claims at this point are still denied. Some estimate as many as 75% of Social Security Disability applications are denied at the Reconsideration level.
This is just one aspect of the Disability process, and it can seem overwhelming. It’s one of the many reasons why so many people turn to Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law. If you’d like to know more about what our firm can do for you, call us today for a free consultation. Our number is 1-877-526-3457. If you’d rather talk at a later time, fill out this form so our team can contact you at a time that is best for you.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law