The average person doesn’t know much about Social Security Disability (SSD) insurance benefits. They know that their contributions to Social Security out of every paycheck help fund the program and that they may be eligible for benefits if they develop a medical condition that leaves them unable to work.
Beyond that, many people don’t learn about the program until they realize they need benefits. One of the most persistent myths about SSD benefits is the claim that nobody gets approved when they first apply.
In reality, a large number of initial applications receive a denial, and some of those applicants will eventually get benefits when they appeal the initial decision. There are multiple stages of appeal available, and the first one is a reconsideration. What happens during the reconsideration stage of an SSD appeal?
Your application receives a second review
There are many reasons why the Social Security Administration (SSA) might reject your benefits claim initially. Maybe you made a mistake in your paperwork, leading to a rejection on a technicality. It is also very common for people to not submit sufficient medical evidence when requesting benefits.
You will have an opportunity to correct those mistakes before the reconsideration takes place. A different SSA employee than the one who initially reviewed your claim will look back over the application and medical documentation. In roughly 2% of benefit claims between 2010 and 2019, applicants received their benefits after the reconsideration stage.
The corrections that you make and additional documentation you submit can make all the difference. Sometimes, what you really need is to have someone with a different perspective look at your application. Personal and professional histories can influence how each SSA employee views different applications.
What if the reconsideration is unsuccessful?
Given that only 2% of applicants typically receive benefits at the reconsideration stage, you should prepare yourself for the possibility of having a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. A hearing is the second stage of appeal, and it is when roughly 8% of applicants ultimately receive their benefits.
Understanding what to expect during an SSD benefits appeal will help you connect with the benefits you need.