New Hampshire Reinstates Reconsideration in the Disability Appeal Process

New Hampshire and six other states will reinstate reconsideration, the first step in the Social Security Disability Insurance appeal process. Since 1959, reconsideration has been an important step in the appeal of disability benefits. Nonetheless, 10 states eliminated the reconsideration step to explore ways to reengineer the disability process.

Reconsideration provides for earlier decisions about allowance. Taxpayers also save money in administrative costs when the claim goes to reconsideration rather than to an Administrative Law Judge. Claimants still have a right to appeal a denial of their claims before an administrative law judge.

What is the Reconsideration Step?

After an applicant files a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance, the Social Security office reviews the application. They make sure that the basic requirements of an application are met. If the basic requirements are not met, they may turn down the application for a technical reason. One example of a reason for a technical denial would be that the applicant did not demonstrate that he or she had a disability.

If the application meets the requirements, it goes to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) office in New Hampshire. The state agency will then make a decision as to the client’s application. Next, the state agency will mail the applicant a letter explaining whether it has denied or accepted the claim. If the applicant does not agree with the denial of his or her claim, the applicant can appeal it. Reconsideration is the first level of appeal. During a reconsideration, the agency will conduct a complete review of the claim. It will also consider any new evidence submitted by the applicant.

How Will This Change affect Social Security Disability Insurance Applications?

The reconsideration process usually adds three to six months in processing time to a claim. IN 2016 and 2017, only 13% of former employees received benefits at the reconsideration stage of the Social Security Disability Insurance process. There are approximately 1.8 million Social Security Disability Insurance claims applicants who are waiting for a decision. In 2018, 129,000 claims were stuck at the Reconsideration step. This number could rise to as many as 177,000 claims pending at the reconsideration toward the end of 2019.

Our Attorneys can Help You During the Reconsideration Stage

Seeking the help of an experienced attorney during the reconsideration process can be beneficial. The claim approval rate of applicants with legal representation is almost double the national average for customers without representation. Attending the reconsideration process without legal representation could result in longer wait times. If the Social Security Administration denies the claim during reconsideration, the applicant may make the same application errors on appeal, adding more time to the process.

At Ward Law, our Social Security Disability Insurance attorneys have helped many clients successfully appeal a denial of their benefits. Contact our Manchester, New Hampshire law firm today to schedule your free case evaluation and learn how we can help you fight for your disability benefits.