A Request for Reconsideration is the first step in the Social Security disability appeals process. In order for your case to go through a Request for Reconsideration, you must first formally make the request.
Here’s How to Do It
In order to file a Request for Reconsideration, you should:
- Read your claim denial letter carefully. If you are going to take the appeals process seriously, you need to clearly understand why your claim was denied. Did you follow the application guidelines? Did you submit enough evidence? Did you prove that you are unable to work? It is not a good use of time and effort to appeal a denial you don’t fully understand.
- Gather new evidence and up-to-date medical records. Chances are that time has passed since you filled out your initial claim. When filing a Request for Reconsideration, be sure that you include any new medical information and records as well as any extra evidence that could help clarify your case. This information should rebut the initial reason for your denial.
- Call your local field office to request the appeal forms. You will likely need two different forms in order to successfully file a Request for Reconsideration: Form SSA-561 (Request for Reconsideration) and Form SSA-3441 (Disability Appeal Report). To get these forms, call or stop by your regional disability claims office and tell them that you would like to appeal your case.
- Fill out the form and make copies. Carefully fill out the forms, being sure to address the reason for your initial denial and being sure to include any new medical or employment information. Make copies of the forms before you mail them or drop them off.
- File your forms within 60 days. A Request for Reconsideration must be filed before the appeal deadline. The request is made by contacting the Social Security disability benefits office where the claim was initially filed. The appeal deadline is 60 days from the date of the denial of the disability application.
- Call to follow up. A week or two after mailing your form, call the SSA office to make certain they have received your forms, that they are processing them, and that you do not need to take further action. If they have not received the forms, make copies of your copies and mail them.
During the disability benefits appeals process you may find that you would like the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable Social Security disability attorney. At Morgan & Weisbrod, we are committed to helping our clients navigate this process successfully to get the disability payments they deserve. To learn more about your case and how to appeal, call us at 800-800-6353 and request a free case evaluation.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.