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What happens during an SSDI benefits reconsideration?

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2022 | Social Security Disability

You applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits because you developed a disabling medical condition. You have worked long enough to qualify for benefits, and you are now unable to maintain a job because of your health issues. You expected to quickly qualify for benefits, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) rejected your application.

You can’t work and likely have medical bills to cover. Now, you need to appeal if you hope to eventually receive SSDI benefits. There are several stages of appeal possible, and the very first is a reconsideration. What does an SSDI reconsideration involve?

The SSA will review your application again

The reconsideration process involves a different SSA employee evaluating your application. This stage of appeal can help those who only need to make small corrections to their applications or who faced a denial because of the biases of the individual reviewing their application.

Sometimes, the personal or professional history of an individual employee can influence the decisions they make. Perhaps they recently found out that they approved a fraudulent application in the past, and the individual claimed to have the same diagnosis as you. Such an experience might lead them to be unnecessarily skeptical of an application that warrants benefits.

Other times, applicants simply fail to submit enough medical documentation when they first apply. They have a condition that is severe enough to meet the SSA’s standards, but they fail to prove it in the paperwork they initially submit.

Those requesting a reconsideration can submit additional medical documents to the SSA to review in addition to their original application, which could lead to an approval during the reconsideration process. If you are successful, you may receive benefits going back to when you first qualified after your application.

What if reconsideration doesn’t help?

Sometimes, having another SSA worker review your application isn’t sufficient to secure benefits. Thankfully, you have the right to request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge in that situation. You can present more evidence and even have witnesses come in to speak on your behalf during an appeal hearing for SSDI benefits.

Understanding what happens after a denied claim can help you prepare for the SSDI appeals process.