The Reconsideration step of the Social Security disability claim process can be an unfriendly place.
On a national basis, 87% of claims are denied again at Reconsideration. That's 7 out of 8. I would say that my practice in Maine experiences a similar percentage of Reconsideration denials (In New Hampshire, however, disability claims go directly from an initial denial to the hearing level – there is no Reconsideration step in New Hampshire). It is frustrating to have so many claims denied again at Reconsideration. Nevertheless, being involved at this stage helps to frame the issues for the hearing, so it is almost always worthwhile.
However, 13% of claims are allowed upon Reconsideration, and it is nice when those allowances actually do happen.
When a claim is granted at Reconsideration, there is usually some new medical evidence. Sometimes when we look at the claim file after the initial denial, we find that some important medical records were never seen at the initial level before a medical decision was made. A Reconsideration allowance is often based upon a more complete picture of the applicant's functional limitations.