Obtaining benefits series – Reconsideration

This will be a very short article, but I’m including it for completeness.  

 

For many years, New York was one of a few “prototype” states that skipped the review stage known as “reconsideration.”  That was great because it saved time in getting cases to a hearing, where most cases that are granted are granted.  But in 2019, the Administration decided to reimpose the Reconsideration stage of the process on New Yorkers.  

 

Reconsideration is just what it sounds like: another analyst in the same office taking a second look at your application.  Unless there’s been a change to your medical condition or life circumstances in this short period of time, the analyst assigned to the reconsideration claim doesn’t usually consider any new evidence.  As a result, the decision is usually the same as the initial denial.  

 

Reconsideration is fairly simple to get through.  When you receive an initial denial, you have to appeal it within 60 days of the date of the denial letter.  You can appeal through this web link: https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/appeal.html.  The web page will have an option to request “Reconsideration” and that is the option you must select if you just received an initial denial.  The web form will ask a few questions.  You will need to provide your identifying details, as will your attorney or representative if one is involved.  You will be asked whether anything has changed in your medical situation, work activity, or education.  If anything has changed, you will be asked to update the information. You may be asked to repeat some information that you already provided in the initial application, but you don’t have to. After the form is complete, you may again be asked to complete some questionnaires or even attend another medical examination, but more likely you will just receive a decision in a few weeks, and usually another denial.  

 

One thing that can be done to increase the chance of getting your claim granted on reconsideration is adding new medical information.  If you’ve been able to get a critical objective test like an MRI or new laboratory findings, submitting that to the analyst could help.  If you have an attorney or representative, ask them about getting an opinion statement from one or more of your treating physicians. Since you have the right to submit new evidence at Reconsideration, there’s little reason not to do what you can to bolster your claim.  But as much as I hate to say it, the reality is that very few claims are overturned at this stage, and you can reliably expect to see another denial.  In a way that’s good news, because it gets you closer to the stage where more claims are granted: the hearing.