• Click to view Video Podcasts explaining Social Security Disability topics Add to favorites
  • Print this page
Call (413) 567- 5600 for a free
Social Security Disability
case evaluation.

Winning at the Reconsideration Step.

If your application has gotten lost in that shuffle, and you are denied at the Initial Decision step we can help you. The Reconsideration decision is made by the state Disability Determination Service ("DDS"):

If you have been denied benefits at the initial application step, don't be discouraged. You are not alone. Unfortunately, the allowance rate for disabled workers who file for Reconsideration of their claims is even lower than the initial application:

Total number of medical decisions made by Social Security at the Reconsideration level involving claims by disabled workers
Total Allowances
2006 192,879
Source: Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2007
The rate of Social Security Disability Insurance and SSI claims allowed in Connecticut and Massachusetts during 2008 at the Reconsideration level was still disappointingly low:
Claims Denied
Allowance Rate
2008 Connecticut
2008 Massachusetts
Source: State Agency Operation Report, December 12, 2008, Prepared by ODP/ODPMI

In our opinion, the main reason for the lower allowance rates at the Reconsideration level is that the claims are being decided on paper. So, to avoid the disappointment of another denial, you must make sure that the claims reviewers can easily see why your medical evidence requires them to award your benefits. You must be certain that all the relevant evidence is prepared and presented to the people who are looking at your claim file. That's what we do for our clients. We get the evidence together, and submit it in an organized format, and that makes the reviewer's job easier.

Social Security must inform you of your right to appeal for Reconsideration, and your right to have a represent help you. You can not appeal a claim denial by calling Social Security on the telephone. You must file a written request.

If you choose us to help you, we will prepare all the forms that will explain your case to Social Security, and make sure that all the evidence gets to the Reconsideration reviewers who will make the correct disability decision. We can get the process moving for you, and help the people at Social Security to understand the severity of your disability, Call us today at (413) 567-5600.

To make a disability decision at Reconsideration, or any other step in the review process, Social Security must "consider all of the available evidence in the individual's case record." Social Security regulations explain [PDF] that the evidence includes:

To explain the severity of your impairment(s), and how it affects your ability to function, we can show Social Security evidence from "other sources,'' as defined in 20 CFR 404.1513(d) and 416.913(d), including:

Information from these "other sources'' alone cannot establish the existence of a medically determinable impairment. Social Security still requires evidence from an "acceptable medical source'' to prove your impairment. But, information from "other sources'' may provide insight into the severity of your impairment(s) and how it affects the your ability to function. By putting all of this evidence together, we can win benefits for you.

Call us at (413) 567-5600 for help with your case. If you are notified that Social Security denied your claim at the Reconsideration step, you have 60 days to appeal to an Administrative Law Judge.