Assisting Clients Across California Since 1993

Social Security disability appeals and requesting reconsideration

When Sacramento residents apply for Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income, it can worrisome if the claim is denied. It is important to remember that a denial does not necessarily mean the case is over. There are four levels of appeal to try and have the application approved.

Once the initial claim for SSD or SSI is denied, the initial level of appeal is reconsideration. In simple terms, the Social Security Administration will look at the case a second time to assess whether the decision to deny the claim was correct. A disability examiner handles this for Disability Determination Services. To come to an accurate and fair decision, the DDS might want to see the medical records. This is especially true if the applicant has been receiving a different treatment plan than before.

If the medical information provided is insufficient, a consultative medical examination could be needed. This is done by an independent medical professional to assist DDS in making its determination. Reconsideration may be successful in overturning the initial decision if there was an obvious mistake. Still, most reconsideration requests are denied. A critical factor with reconsideration is that it is just the first step in the available four-step process of appeals followed by a hearing, the Appeals Council and federal court. The subsequent appeal steps have a higher percentage of denied claims being approved.

There are fundamental aspects of applying for Social Security Disability or SSI that people should be aware of beforehand. When the case is denied, it might have been due to a mistake made on the application or because there was a lack of information given. To avoid these errors and to have a good chance of a successful appeal, it may be useful to have legal assistance from the start.