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Who Determines Reconsideration For SSD Benefits?

The reconsideration level is what we consider the second stage. It is after a denial on an initial application. You have sixty days to file your reconsideration appeal and a clerk from the Social Security Office is the one that makes that decision. You are not at a hearing level, so it is not going to a judge yet, it is essentially the same process that you have gone through for the initial claim, for the reconsideration level as well. Eighty-nine percent of these claims are denied nationally. If you get denied on the initial level, you are very likely to be denied at the reconsideration level and have to request a hearing.

Is There Any Recourse If Someone Is Denied Benefits At Both Hearing And Reconsideration Level?

Yes. You can file what is called a request for a review to the Appeals Council that normally takes a couple of years to process, unfortunately. You have sixty days just as with the other appeal levels, sixty days to file it, you can either do that or you can file a new application, but you have to amend your onset of disability date to be the day after the denial from the ALJ. You do have to make that choice. You used to be able to file a new application at the same time that you were appealing the judges’ decision to the Appeals Council, but now you have to make a choice for either appealing that denial or filing a new application.

Can Someone Get Any Financial Assistance While Waiting For SSD Benefits?

You can apply for county aid, or for county healthcare, food stamps and rental assistance. Generally, you cannot get money from Social Security until and unless they have deemed that you are disabled. You can sometimes get an advance if you have been deemed disabled but the paperwork has not been processed for offsets and all of that kind of stuff. You can go into the local Social Security Office with your decision and ask for an advance, but they are not going to give you money until you have actually been deemed to be disabled. A lot of our clients do go to county assistance programs or churches and things like that to try to get some assistance while they are going through the process.

Additional Information Regarding Social Security Disability Benefit Applications

Going back to the Appeals Council appeal after you get denied at a hearing level, you have to really consider if you want to take that step since you cannot file the new application anymore at the same time and the reason I say that is the process usually takes eighteen to twenty-four months and there is only a thirteen percent approval rating at that level. You may be delaying your whole process for another two years and you only have a thirteen percent chance of winning it.

Generally, the attorneys that are representing you will go through the likelihood of your success because, of course, every case is different. They go through the likelihood of your success and what you are potentially giving up if you do not win. It is a very good idea to ask that question before you make that decision.

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