What is an SSDI “Reconsideration” and who Decides it?

The reconsideration of any application for Social Security Disability benefits is the first step of the appeals process for anyone who has been denied disability benefits. There are specific forms you will need to file in order to initiate this first appeal, and they are called the Reconsideration Report and the Request for Reconsideration. An attorney or other representative will help you through the steps of the appeals process.

When you are working on the paperwork, you'll find that the forms themselves are not difficult to complete, but you will want to be sure to complete them and have them submitted within sixty days of your initial claim denial. Your attorney will advise you in appealing your Social Security Disability denial within that sixty day time frame. If you miss the 60 day window, this is considered an “untimely appeal,” which means that you will have to start the whole SSDI application process over and file all new paperwork.

There are some exceptions to these rules, including hospitalization, illness or other plausible or extenuating circumstances that cause you to be unable to file your Social Security Disability benefit appeal paperwork within the proper time frame. However, if you do not have a good reason for the tardiness, any untimely submitted Request for Reconsideration will be simply rejected.

Your attorney or representative will advise you that if you fail to submit an appeal by the specified time, this is very counter-productive, and is wasteful of your time, and that of your attorney. This is especially true since new applications that are filed by a claimant for Social Security Disability benefits will probably be denied, as was your first, and then it will take the same amount of time, once again, to be processed.

In most SSDI cases, you will have your best chance to have benefits awarded at a hearing that will be held before the Administrative Law Judge. But you or your disability attorney can only request this hearing after your reconsideration appeal for Social Security Disability benefits has been denied.