In the vast majority of cases, when you file a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you’re in for a long and frustrating wait for a decision that goes on for several months.
Even worse, your initial claim is statistically likely to be denied. That means you’ll have to file an appeal. This first appeal is known as a “reconsideration request.”
Are you in for a wait that’s just as long (or longer) than the first round? Maybe. Here’s what you need to know:
A reconsideration is much like an initial claim
When you filed your initial claim, the local field office obtained as much information as they needed to get the process started. Then your claim went to a state agency called the Disability Determination Services (DDS). There it was handed off to a team that included a claims examiner (CE) and at least one medical professional for review. That was the team that made the final decision on your application.
When you file a reconsideration, the process is very similar. The local field office will update your claim with any new information you have, particularly things like new diagnoses, new limitations and new medical sources. Then, your claim is transferred back to the state’s DDS. This time, however, it is assigned to a new team, which means a different CE and medical professional will take a look.
Can you hurry the process along?
There are some steps you can take that may shorten your wait for a decision:
- Be prepared when you file your reconsideration paperwork with the names and contact information of any doctors you have seen since you filed your initial claim.
- Have an updated list of all your diagnoses, medications and symptoms. Be very specific about all of the symptoms you experience, whether those are directly related to your disability or a side-effect of your medication.
- If you have copies of any medical records (lab tests, doctor’s reports, etc.) from the time you filed your initial claim to the time you filed your appeal, file them with your reconsideration request.
Often, winning your SSDI claim is just a matter of presenting the DDS with the information it needs, in the way they can easily recognize it. Experienced legal guidance can help.