Request for Reconsideration

SSD Appeals Attorney Helping San Francisco Bay Area ClaimantsHaving your initial Social Security Disability (SSD) application denied can be a difficult experience. It may help to know that you are not alone, since many applications are denied initially, making some type of appeal necessary. I am John Stanko, a San Francisco Bay Area lawyer who is familiar with Social Security appeals, and can guide you through the next steps after you have been denied the benefits that you need. I aim to reduce the stress of this process as much as possible, allowing you to focus on coping with your condition and planning your future.Requesting a Reconsideration before the SSA

To qualify for SSD benefits, an applicant must establish the following elements:

  • He or she is unable to work due to a medical condition, which may be either mental or physical; and
  • The condition has lasted, or is going to last, at least 12 months or result in death.

A showing of permanent disability is not required in order to receive benefits, so you may receive support for a temporary substantial disability that lasts a year or more. Once you have filed your initial application, the process may take anywhere from three to six months, with payments of benefits beginning with your sixth month of disability. Because of this lengthy time period, any delay or denial is often a setback that may seem daunting. However, appeals options are available and should be considered to make sure you assert your right to benefits.

After receiving a denial letter for your SSD application, you have 60 days in which to request a reconsideration with the SSA. This is the first appeal available, and it involves an informal reconsideration of your initial application by a claims examiner at the Disability Determination Services (DDS) at the local office where you filed your application. When filing a request for reconsideration, you must complete the designated form as well as provide information regarding changes to your health and any work you have done since filing your claim. During this process, you must also state the reasons you think your denial was wrongly issued. The reconsideration process can take from two to four months before a decision is rendered.

To show changes in your health, you may submit additional medical evidence regarding your disability, but often the time period between filing your application and your request for a reconsideration is short. Therefore, there may not be much new medical documentation. In part because of this, reconsiderations are often not successful, and a further appeal may be necessary. Situations in which they may be persuasive include when significant new medical evidence shows that a claimant has a different or worsening condition, or when there was a clear error by the first DDS examiner. However, this step is necessary to move further in the appeals process, and therefore it should be handled with careful attention.

Discuss Your Government Benefits Claim with a Marin County Lawyer

Government benefits attorney John Stanko is committed to pursuing Social Security for people with qualifying disabilities or impairments from Marin County and the surrounding region. I represent clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including in San Rafael, Novato, Mill Valley, and across Sonoma and Solano Counties. You can expect to stay informed of where your claim stands at every step of the way, and to have an advocate who works diligently to make your voice heard. You can call us at 415-755-8899, or toll-free at 877-204-8900, or you can contact us online to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your options.