If you’ve applied for disability benefits and found that your application was denied, it doesn’t mean that your chances of receiving the benefits you deserve are over. The Social Security Administration offers what is a called a “Request for Reconsideration”, which is essentially a person asking that his or her case be looked at again, with the hope being that benefits will be awarded the second time around.
In order to start the process, you must first contact the SSA following news of your denial and let them know you would like to appeal the decision. Everyone has the right to do this, though it must be done in a specified amount of time, which will be noted on your denial letter. As a standard, this time frame is 60 days from the date of your notice. If your form is received after this period of time, it will be rejected without any further consideration. You will instead need to file a brand new application for disability benefits. For this reason, it’s very important to make sure you file within the 60-day window to save yourself time and effort. Remember, the sooner you are approved, the sooner you will begin receiving benefits.
Of course, there are some acceptable reasons as to why you might be unable to file your form within that time frame, such as a hospitalization or illness. In this case, your late Request for Reconsideration may be accepted (though that doesn’t necessarily mean it will ultimately be approved).
Once you have contacted the SSA, they will mail you the Request for Reconsideration form for you to fill out. It can also be accessed and completed online. Regardless of which method you prefer, make sure you save a copy of all pages for yourself. Paperwork and mail can get lost from time to time, and making a copy will save you the trouble of refilling out the form should this happen to you.
Once you have filled out the form and sent it in, be sure to follow up in about one to two weeks’ time with the SSA to confirm that all paperwork/online queries have been received and that your case is moving forward. Of course, if they do not have a record of your form, simply resend another copy – but always make sure to retain one for your own records. Also, remember that if you choose to fill out the paperwork online, you will still need to physically mail in any appropriate files, such as medical records.
The chances of being approved for benefits following this form are quite low, but not impossible. Many people who are denied go on to request a fair hearing, which is another step in the process. Either way, when presenting your case, any new medical information, such as recent hospitalizations, new medications or symptoms, etc., can help bolster your case and increase your chances of being approved for benefits.
Even if you didn’t hire a disability attorney to complete your application for disability benefits originally, you can still hire one to help you complete the Request for Reconsideration form. A lawyer’s guidance and insight will allow you to unburden yourself with the heavy-lifting of the tedious process. He or she will make all calls and notifications to the SSA on your behalf, as well as file all necessary forms and complete follow-up calls for confirmation of receipt and current status of your case. Their savvy knowledge will also help increase your chances of being approved and begin receiving benefits sooner than later.
If you have any questions about the SSA’s Request for Reconsideration form, or want the assistance of a disability lawyer, get in touch with a representative from Disability Group at 1-800-997-1338.