A client of mine just obtained a fully favorable decision at the Reconsideration level.
In this particular case, Social Security assessed a residual functional capacity at the light exertional level. Since the claimant's past relevant work was also at the light exertional level, the claim was denied at step 4 of the sequential evaluation process. After receiving a denial notice, the claimant retained me. We appealed, and the claim went to Reconsideration.
I asked the claimant's doctor for her opinion on the claimant's limitations. The doctor completed a medical source statement, and assessed a sedentary RFC.
The doctor's medical source statement was adopted by the SSA. That sedentary RFC ruled out the claimant's past work at step 4. And since the claimant is over 50 and does not have transferable skills or education that provides for direct entry into skilled work, he grids "disabled" at step 5, under Rule 201.14 of the Medical-Vocational Guidelines.
This is a fairly typical case story, and any Social Security disability lawyer worth his salt would obtain a medical source statement from the claimant's treating doctor. But why wait until the hearing? Why not do it soon after you get the case, so that you have a shot at winning at Reconsideration?
I treat Reconsideration like a hearing. I update medical records, get medical source statements when I can, and write a letter to the disability examiner explaining why the claim should be granted.