When a claim for Social Security disability benefits is denied at the initial claim level, most claimants must request a reconsideration of that decision to start the appeal process. It’s called a reconsideration because the same state agency that issued the denial at the initial claim level evaluates your claim again. The case is sent to a different DDS examiner for a new decision. It follows the same process again, and about 80% of the time the reconsideration decision is the same as the initial decision- a denial.
After receiving a reconsideration denial, the next step is to request a hearing. Again, you have only 60 days to appeal and if you miss the deadline you have to start all over again. Appeals of claims processed in these locations go right to the hearing level after the initial claim denial.
A lot of people who do not have an attorney give up their claim after they receive a reconsideration denial. In large part this is because the thought of attending a hearing is intimidating to most people. However, most cases are approved at the hearing level. That said, having good representation at your hearing is important because overcoming an unfavorable hearing decision can be extremely difficult. Social Security Disability Attorney Rob Levine helps with filing reconsideration requests in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.