Understanding Social Security Disability Reconsideration and Review

What is Reconsideration?

Reconsideration is the first level of appeal in the Social Security Disability process. If your initial claim for benefits is denied, you have the right to request a reconsideration of your case. During the reconsideration process, a different examiner will review your case and any new information you provide.

To request a reconsideration, you must complete Form SSA-561 and submit it to your local Social Security Administration office within 60 days of receiving your denial letter. You can also submit your request online through the Social Security Administration’s website.

What is Review?

If your request for reconsideration is also denied, you can request a hearing with an administrative law judge. During the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present your case and any new evidence to support your claim.

If the administrative law judge also denies your claim, you can request a review by the Social Security Appeals Council. The Appeals Council will review your case and any new evidence you provide. They may also request additional information or schedule a hearing before making a decision.

If the Appeals Council denies your claim or declines to review your case, you can file a lawsuit in federal court.

How to Increase Your Chances of Success

The reconsideration and review process can be lengthy and complex, and it’s essential to submit all required documentation to support your claim. Some key documents you will need to submit include medical records, work history, and income documentation. These documents will help the Social Security Administration determine the severity of your disability and whether you meet the eligibility requirements for disability benefits.

It’s also important to speak with an experienced attorney or advocate who specializes in Social Security Disability cases. They can help you navigate the process and improve your chances of success. A knowledgeable representative can assist with the appeal process, gather and submit medical evidence, obtain testimony from witnesses, and prepare you for any necessary hearings.

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