A "Notice of Reconsideration" letter states that your disability or SSI claim has been denied for a second time by Social Security. When you get a Notice of Reconsideration in the mail, there are a few things to remember:
- The first is do not be discouraged. 7 out of 8 Reconsideration claims are denied, and the majority of these denied claims are approved at the hearing level. See this chart to see how the percentages improve at the hearing level.
- The second is to call or email your lawyer, and let him or her know. We are supposed to get copies of all correspondence going from Social Security to our clients, but it does not always happen. Just last week I had a client receive a Reconsideration denial, and this office was not sent a copy. If the client hadn't called me, I would not have known until the next time I checked on the claim. It is possible to miss the 60 day appeal deadline under these circumstances. Don't let that happen. Contact your lawyer, and make sure the claim is appealed right away. Chances are the lawyer's office has also received the notice. That's fine. It is also good time to discuss a plan to develop the evidence necessary to turn the negative result around, so you get a fully favorable decision at the hearing level.
- If you do not have a lawyer, be sure to appeal the denied claim right away by contacting your local Social Security office.
- Lastly, if you are not represented by a lawyer, it is a good time to seek out counsel. There is usually plenty of time after a Recon denial and before the hearing to develop the evidence that will support a favorable decision. The next step after Reconsideration is a hearing before an administrative law judge. You want a lawyer for that, in my view. It does not cost one penny to hire a lawyer for a Social Security claim. Any fee will be paid in the future, if you win your claim. There is no fee should you lose your claim. You can read more about attorneys fees here.
In summary, if you receive a Reconsideration denial from Social Security, don't get discouraged. There is hope. Make sure the denied disability claim gets appealed, and get in touch with your lawyer or find a disability lawyer if you don't have one yet.