Applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be a long, tiring process. People often come to us and ask, “how long does a Social Security reconsideration take?” This is a common question, as the majority of applications are initially denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Oftentimes, people make the mistake of assuming that it is better to restart their disability application after they receive an initial denial. However, your best chance for success is to file for reconsideration.
To help expedite the amount of time required for reconsideration, it is best to work with a disability representative, such as Crest SSD, to advocate on your behalf. Need immediate support with your disability application? Complete this free evaluation form or contact us at the number above!
What To Do After the Initial Disability Application Denial
Approximately 60-75 percent of applicants receive a denial upon their initial application. Typically, this determination is reached quickly because it only takes one aspect of the application to result in a denial.
Often, this denial can be due to incomplete information, a lack of medical evidence, or a lack of sufficient information explaining why an injury prevents you from performing Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). SGA is the way the Social Security Administration measures the severity of your disability and whether you are able to perform any level of work.
Your initial application also requires a considerable amount of information about your previous work history. Depending on the type of benefits you are seeking — Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) — your previous work history could play a role in the initial denial.
Note that SSI is needs-based and not dependent on your work history. However, SSDI is based on your work history and the number of work credits you have accumulated.
Filing for Reconsideration
Once you have received your initial denial, you must file for reconsideration within 60 days of the date on your denial letter. If you do not file for reconsideration within this time frame, then you must go through the entire application process from the beginning. The best way to avoid an issue like this is to hire a disability advocate. When working with our firm, we will receive and process all your communication with the SSA to ensure that your deadlines are met in a timely manner as we expedite the reconsideration process.
Under normal conditions, the reconsideration process takes approximately eight weeks. Once your request for reconsideration is submitted, the Social Security Administration will review your application again. Your application will return to the same office that processed your initial application, however, it will be a different examiner.
Most applicants receive a denial at this stage, as well, due to the set rules in place for all examiners. Timelines for receiving a determination at this stage can vary. But, recent evidence indicates an estimate of three to five months for applicants to receive a determination on their request for reconsideration.
Each case is unique and different factors may play a role in your determination taking more or less time. Some factors include:
- Workload of the examiner.
- Time it takes for the examiner to receive new medical records.
- Any special circumstances involved (e.g. the COVID-19 disruption).
Crest SSD Can Lead the Way to Your Reconsideration
As we mentioned, many applicants will still receive a denial even after filing reconsideration. From our experience, most cases are won at the next level in the appeals/reconsideration process during an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing.
Information we have gathered from around the U.S. consistently shows that the most important variable at the ALJ hearing stage is representation. This means that applicants can realize as much as a 75 percent increase in their chances for approval when a Social Security Disability advocate represents you before the judge.
Crest SSD supports your case by providing a skilled, prepared representative to represent you before the ALJ. We are proud of our track record supporting disability applicants across the country.
To find out more about how we can help you with the reconsideration process and expedite your disability application, call us today at the number above. We are here to help you on your journey to receiving disability benefits.