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Reconsideration can I go straight to disability hearing?

Recently on our disability hearing a claimant asked, “I have been denied Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and I was told I could appeal the denial by requesting a reconsideration. I have heard that getting approved at this stage is almost impossible. With this in mind, can I just skip this step and immediately request an administrative hearing in front of an administrative law judge?” disability-benefits-help

What is a reconsideration?

The reconsideration is the first step in the SSDI appeals process. Reconsideration allows a new disability examiner within the same Disability Determination Services Office to review your application a second time. Unfortunately, unless you add additional information to improve your chances of approval at the reconsideration, there’s an 85% percent chance that the second disability examiner will deny your application a second time. Why does this occur? Disability examiners at the DDS offices are bound by the same rules and regulations. They are using the same procedures to determine if you are disabled. With this in mind, it makes sense that two examiners are likely to arrive at the same conclusion reviewing the same information. Note, after your initial disability denial you only have 60 days from the date of the denial to file a request for a reconsideration. Claimants who fail to request a reconsideration within the specified timeframe will have to submit a new application and start the application process again

Can I skip the reconsideration process?

Now, you asked if you could skip the reconsideration and immediately request a disability hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Whether or not this is possible will depend on the state in which you live. For example, several states have eliminated the reconsideration process entirely and allow claimants to immediately request a hearing after their SSDI application has been denied. States which have eliminated the reconsideration include: If you do not live in one of these states, however, you will have to request a reconsideration and wait to see if your application has been approved. How do I improve my chances of approval at the reconsideration? If your SSDI application has been denied there are several important steps to take prior to requesting a reconsideration.
  1. Review the SSDI denial and make sure you understand why your case was denied.
  2. Review your SSDI application and make sure you did not omit any important details for your claim.
  3. Send new updated medical information, including doctor’s visits and new treatments, to the SSA.
  4. Consider discussing your case with a disability lawyer. They can answer your questions and can help make sure you include relevant information for your case.
  5. Make sure to request the appeal as soon as possible.
Bottom Line: Although in most states you cannot skip the reconsideration step of the appeals process, if you review your application after your first denial and ensure you have added sufficient medical evidence to prove your case, there is a chance your SSDI case could be approved at the reconsideration.