The reconsideration is the second phase in the disability determination process and generally takes between one and three months
If you are denied after submitting your initial disability application and file an appeal within 60-days of receiving your denial letter, the next phase is called the reconsideration phase. The reconsideration phase is similar to the initial application phase in that your case is assigned to an adjudicator, or examiner, who works for Disability Determination Services (DDS) and is responsible for determining whether or not you qualify to receive disability benefits under Social Security's rules. The difference at the reconsideration phase is that your claim will be assigned to a new examiner- you will have a fresh set of eyes on your claim, but they will have all the information previously submitted.
The length of time it takes to receive the reconsideration decision is based on how quickly the examiner receives updated medical records and whether or not they decide additional questionnaires regarding activities of daily living (ADLs) or consultative examinations (CEs) are necessary. As always, the examiner’s caseload and efficiency come into play, as well as the speed at which medical records are requested and received. Some medical facilities respond to requests quickly, while others are notoriously slow.
*Note: Under special circumstances, if your disability is expected to change or is found to be unstable due to recent corrective procedures or changes in medications/therapies, a 90-day hold may be placed on your claim to re-evaluate residual functioning, further delaying the decision.
SSA has eliminated the Reconsideration phase in the following states:
• California (Los Angeles North and Los Angeles West Branches only)
• New Hampshire
• New York
If you file an appeal to your initial disability application denial in the above ten states, your appeal will become your request for a Hearing.
A competent disability attorney or representative will act as the point of contact for your DDS examiner so you don’t have to. They will make sure your claim is on track and the examiner has the necessary information in order to make a decision on your claim. If you need help appealing your initial denial and filing for reconsideration, contact us now!