By the time you apply for disability benefits, you may already have gone weeks without a paycheck. You know that you need help, but that doesn’t mean getting benefits will be quick or easy.
No one wants to hear that the Social Security Administration (SSA) rejected their application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Unfortunately, that is the exact response thousands of applicants received every single year.
Even individuals with truly debilitating medical conditions may receive a rejection notice instead of an approval. If the SSA denies your benefit request, don’t panic or give up in your fight for SSDI. You have the right to file an appeal. That process starts with a reconsideration. How does a reconsideration of your benefits application work?
Reconsideration involves someone reviewing your application
The SSA has two methods that it applies to the analysis of benefit applications. It uses a computer system to locate and fast-track benefits applications very likely to receive approval. It also has individual employees that review the claim submitted.
Having individuals look at applications can help because people can recognize unusual circumstances more easily than a software program could. A human can identify, for example, an individual with an unusually severe form of a usually minor medical condition who desperately needs benefits.
Unfortunately, having people process applications can also lead to some unfair denials. Those who have been working for the SSA for some time may start to associate specific medical conditions with fraud. Personal bias might lead an SSA employee to deny benefits in a situation where most other people would approve them. Reconsideration helps remove that personal bias from the process by requiring that a second SSA employee review the same application documents.
Reconsideration helps some applicants get their benefits
A small percentage of individuals initially denied benefits will get those benefits when they appeal through reconsideration. Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh set of eyes or a different perspective to get someone their benefits. Others may not succeed at reconsideration but may need to take their appeal a step further.
Knowing about your right to appeal a denied claim can help you take the right steps when you need SSDI benefits.