As we discussed last week, over half of all Social Security Disability claims are initially denied by the Social Security Administration. If people still feel that they qualify, there is a four part appeals process they can go through in an effort to get their claim approved, including reconsideration, a hearing, an appeals council review and Federal court. Let’s discuss the first step of the appeals process, reconsideration.
If people are initially denied by the SSA, they will receive a letter in the mail. The SSA will assume it takes five days to receive the letter. People then have another 60 days to appeal, or else they will have to start the entire application process at the beginning. This can be done online, in writing by asking for an appeal form or sending a signed note or through a representative.
If you hire a representative, it is important to note that the firm cannot charge people a fee unless they obtain an approval written from the SSA. This representative will work directly with the SSA and will receive the same documentation as the applicant. With the person’s approval, the representative can act on a person’s behalf in an effort to get the application reconsideration approved.
Once people or their representative sends out their reconsideration request, the appeal will be reviewed by someone at the Social Security Administration who was not part of the decision-making process of the initial denial. The SSA will then send people a new letter with their decision. If this fails other steps may be available to complete the appeals process.
Source: Social Security Administration, “Your Right To Question The Decision Made On Your Claim,” Accessed Dec. 15, 2015