The Request for Reconsideration

If you have received a denial on your initial application for Social Security Administration disability benefits, you have 60 days to request reconsideration. When you request reconsideration, you are notifying the Social Security Administration that you disagree with the decision and would like another review of your case.

To appeal, you must complete the Request for Reconsideration by going online to or by calling or going to your local Social Security office.  Information that is collected from the appeal includes any changes to your contact information, medical conditions, limitations, work status, and any new medical records. Once the appeal is filed, the local office verifies that your appeal is complete and sends it to the state agency for further development and a decision.

The state agency that determines your case is referred to as Disability Determination Services or the Disability Determination Bureau. Once it has your file, it is assigned to an examiner.  The examiner collects any medical records that were not received at the initial application, requests information about your daily activities through forms, and forwards your medical records and completed forms to medical consultants who, essentially, check the work of those who were involved with the initial application. The consultants either establish a new set of limitations or indicate that the previous limitations were reasonable and informs the examiner, who then approves or denies your claim, depending on this information.

Once the examiner has made the decision, it is forwarded to your local Social Security office where a letter is generated and sent to you and your representative, if you have one.

Because there usually is not much new information at the reconsideration level, most claims are denied at this step. If you are denied, you have 60 days to request a hearing before an administrative law judge.

Disability Specialists can assist you with every step of the process, including the Request for Reconsideration, forms requested by Social Security, and subsequent appeals. Disability Specialists also will request opinions from your medical providers on your behalf and can offer advice regarding services, medical treatment, and community supports you may want to utilize to support your claim.