Unfortunately, getting access to Social Security disability benefits can be difficult. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), approximately 70 percent of initial Social Security disability applications are denied. If your Social Security disability claim was denied in Illinois, there are still legal options available. You have the right to request a reconsideration.
Social Security Disability: Reconsideration is the First Level of Appeal
Reconsideration — or “recon” as it is sometimes called — is the first stage of the appeals process. In most states, including Illinois, you must submit a Request for Reconsideration to keep your claim alive. You must complete and submit Form SSA-561. If your claim was denied for medical reasons (a medical denial), you will also need to submit a disability report along with your Request for Reconsideration. If your claim was denied for non-medical reasons (a technical denial), you should be prepared to explain why you disagree with SSA’s reasoning.
Strict Deadline: You Have 60 Days to File a Request for Reconsideration
If you receive a Social Security disability denial letter, it is imperative you take swift action to protect your rights. Under federal regulations, claimants only have 60 days to submit a Request for Reconsideration. This is a strictly enforced deadline. Claimants that fail to adhere to the denial are likely to have their claim dismissed without receiving a reconsideration on the merits. Typically, it takes somewhere between one month and five months to get a decision on a reconsideration.
Tips for Success at the Reconsideration Stage:
Two months is not much time to build an initial appeal. Do not wait until a few days before the deadline to submit your Request for Reconsideration. Be sure to move quickly and keep engaged with the process.
If your claim was denied, it is strongly recommended you take a second look at your initial application. Review the SSA’s reasoning and check your application for errors. Many initial SSDI claims are denied because of simple and correctable mistakes. Reconsideration is an opportunity to fix errors.
You should gather and submit any relevant supplemental evidence along with your Request for Reconsideration. For example, if you have had additional medical appointments, have updated medical records, or updated vocational records, they should be included.
The Social Security disability appeals process is notoriously complicated. If your initial claim for benefits was denied, it is time to seek professional representation. An experienced disability attorney can help.
Call Our Chicagoland Social Security Disability Lawyer Right Away
At Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd., our Chicagoland Social Security disability attorney is an aggressive, skilled advocate for disabled workers. If you or your loved one is preparing to file a Request for Reconsideration, we are here to help. For a free case evaluation, please do not hesitate to contact us today. We represent clients in Chicago and throughout the surrounding suburbs.