Reconsideration Applications - Social Security Disability & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Reconsiderations are a review of your previous application to make sure the decision was made correctly. Some states have reconsiderations, and some states skip this step and go straight to hearing appeals.

The Trick to Winning a Reconsideration

Here's the trick to reconsiderations: If you wish to try to get approved at this stage you must give Social Security something to "reconsider". If you simply fill out and return the reconsideration forms, you almost certainly will get a quick rubber-stamp denial.

Almost everyone gets denied here, but then again, almost no one does anything with their applications here! You can set yourself apart by being one of the few people on this planet to actually make an effort at this stage.

When To Do Something and When To Do Nothing

In my experience, if you are heading into reconsideration, you have two options right now. They are both good for different reasons:

Do nothing
- This is what most people do and it is a perfectly fine way to go. You can simply return your reconsideration forms (or have your lawyer return it for you). You will almost certainly get denied, but you will be moving your process along to get to the hearing, which is where things may go better. So, just wait until the denial comes through and then you can move on to the hearing appeal stage where your chances will be better. The reconsideration decision will take about two months, and the hearing will be scheduled in about one or two years.

Do something
- If you do anything at all right now, you are ahead of the game. If you enclose some new materials to consider, at least they will take the time to reconsider your application. However, there is one disadvantage to doing something: It delays your process. If you don't send your reconsideration form back right away, but instead spend several weeks collecting new materials to enclose, then your process gets delayed by several weeks. The approval rates for reconsiderations are very low. Some people do not find it worth the delay. The choice is yours.

What to Do if You Decide to Do Something

If you decide to enclose something new or helpful with your reconsideration form, you have a chance to be considered. I once assisted someone with collecting new materials for their reconsideration, and it did get approved. It is possible!

Please take a look at the Ten Steps to Creating a Great Application for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and decide what you want to give Social Security to reconsider. Especially look through everything in the step on collecting and checking missing records.

Reconsideration decisions happen very quickly. If you already sent in your reconsideration request form, it may be too late to send more stuff, but you can still try.

If possible, it is very helpful if you can send in your new records and documents enclosed with your reconsideration request form. This will give you the greatest chance of your new materials arriving in time to be fully considered. It also means your application will be easier to review with less chances of something getting separated, lost, or misplaced.

You have sixty days to return your reconsideration request form and new materials. That is sixty days in hand, so think of it as 55 days.

Do You Need a Lawyer?

Some people hire lawyers or representatives at this stage, and some people wait until the hearing appeal stage. The choice is yours.

Lawyers may not do very much to improve a case at reconsideration. If you are already in reconsideration stage, I am not sure there is enough time to find and hire a lawyer and have them make a difference before the decision gets made. You can certainly try if you wish.

You can hire a lawyer or you can hire a "non-lawyer representative." They are equally good. They will not charge you anything unless you win.

Whatever You Do

Whatever you do, just make sure you don't miss the deadline for your reconsideration request form. Sixty days in their hands.

For the person I assisted, we spent 58 days collecting new materials. Hand-delivered the reconsideration on day 59. It was approved two months later.



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