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Reconsideration Stage Being Added Back to Social Security Disability Process

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The Social Security Disability process can be quite lengthy. That’s because there are various stages involved. Oddly enough, not every state has the same process or stages. For example, 10 states (including New York) no longer have the reconsideration stage.

The reconsideration stage is typically the first opportunity in which a claim can be denied. If a person’s claim is denied, they would be able to file an appeal at this point. It could also be the first opportunity in which someone’s claim is approved. However, only 13% of applicants receive approval at this stage.

Reconsideration is loathed by many, as it adds more than three extra months to an already lengthy process. It is considered meaningless and redundant, although this step will lead to earlier decisions in some cases.

However, 40 states already have the reconsideration stage included in the process, and it is being added back to one state: Pennsylvania. The state removed the reconsideration stage 20 years ago and has now chosen to add it back starting April 20. An applicant that is denied in the beginning must appeal through the reconsideration stage. A second denial will result in a hearing.

Disability advocates and members of Congress are not happy about this move. Many disabled people already avoid the Social Security Disability process because of the many complications involved, even though they likely qualify for benefits. This will just be another hurdle that will cause them to abandon the process. They will then lose out on compensation that they desperately need.

If their claim is denied for any reason, waiting for a hearing can take what seems like forever. The average wait time is 524 days, which is nearly 1 ½ years. This is a long time for a person to go without any sort of income. Unfortunately, many applicants file for bankruptcy and lose their home while waiting for their first check to arrive.

What exactly is the reason for reinstating the reconsideration stage? It’s being done so there is a uniform process for applicants across the country. This means that the nine other states that currently do not have this step in the process could also add it back in the future. This is something New Yorkers should keep in mind, as having this stage likely will not work in their favor. If they are disabled and think they may qualify for benefits, they should start the claims process right away. 

Learn More About Social Security Disability Benefits 

The approval process for Social Security Disability is already long enough. Adding the reconsideration stage back in—especially when it has been gone for 20 years—will only add confusion and frustration for applicants.

It could take many months or even years for your Social Security Disability benefits to be approved. Get your application approved quicker with help from the Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon in White Plains. He will make sure your application is complete the first time around so you can avoid delays. Schedule your free consultation with a skilled White Plains Social Security disability lawyer today by calling 914-294-2145.

Resource:

post-gazette.com/news/social-services/2019/04/17/federal-disability-programs-Social-Security-Disability-Insurance-Supplemental-Security-Income/stories/201904170090

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