It was hard enough to steel yourself to get through the Social Security Disability (SSD) application process in the first place, so you’re understandably devastated to receive a denial in the mail after months of waiting.
What happens now? Where do you start?
The first step in an appeal is a reconsideration
You can request a reconsideration of your claim online, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you start:
- If your reconsideration is unsuccessful, you will have to file for a hearing, where you’ll get your chance to plead your case in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). However, there are more than 26,000 Texans waiting on hearings — and average wait times around the nation often exceed a year.
- When a reconsideration is filed, your claim is routed to the same Disability Determination Services (DDS) in Austin that decided your initial claim — although it will go to a new disability examiner and determination team for a fresh look. Your reconsideration won’t be successful unless you understand why your initial application was denied and take steps to remedy the problems.
Typically, the best thing you can do right now is look at your denial letter and carefully examine the section that explains why your claim was denied for clues about what went wrong.
One of the most common reasons for a denial is that your medical providers failed to respond to DDS’s requests for records or additional information. In other cases, the records available may not go far enough to document your condition — and you may have overlooked a letter asking you to go to a consultative examination.
Filing your reconsideration gives you a chance to correct any small problems that negatively affected your claim. If you want to get your Social Security Disability claim approved without having to go to a hearing, it may be time to seek some professional assistance.