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Reconsideration of Denied Benefits

Posted on:1/22/2012
If the applicant is denied benefits at the initial stage, he or she has the option of appealing that decision within 60 days. The State Disability Determination Service ill re-examine the file, placing it in the hands of a new adjudicator who is unfamiliar with the case. However, there will probably be no further acquisition of evidence at this point.

At neither the initial nor reconsideration stage do the adjudicators see the applicant. Decisions are based solely upon the application and medical records of the applicant.

If denied benefits at reconsideration, the applicant may request a hearing before an ALJ. The applicant may waive an oral hearing, and the ALJ can make a decision "on the record."

The hearing is by design informal and relaxed. The ALJ will usually spend some time making the applicant and witnesses feel comfortable and yet not diminish the importance of the proceedings. Hearings are often held in courthouses, post offices, or even seminar rooms in motels or hotels within 75 miles of applicants' homes.

The ALJ will normally not wear a judicial robe and will sit at the head of a large table where the other participants are seated. He or she will be accompanied by either a hearing assistant from the district office or an employee from the local Social Security office. This assistant will make a tape of the entire hearing.

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How Does Social Security Define Disability? Disability Determination Disability Application Process
Disability Denial and Reconsideration Appealing the disability Denial Decision Medicare and Medicaid
What is Social Security Disability? SSDI SSI
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