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Request reconsideration online at the SSA’s website if the SSA denied your application for SSD benefits. Don’t wait to appeal your SSI or SSDI initial denial. You can file your appeal online. You don’t have to fill out forms by hand or go to the post office to mail it. Simply go to the SSA website and appeal the SSA’s decision.

Some people make the mistake of thinking they should give up when they get an SSA denial. Do not give up. Most people are denied once they file their application for SSD benefits. The number of denials ranges in any given year between 80-90% of the people that apply for benefits. Some people are denied even if they have stage 4 cancer or a medical condition that meets SSA’s rules.

The SSA denies applications because most people give up after one denial. That is what they are counting on. The SSA counts on you giving up. Don’t do it.

Instead, what you need to do is file a Request for Reconsideration. The initial denial notice that you receive from the Social Security Administration gives you 60 days from the date you receive the decision to appeal the denial. Appeal the denial as soon as possible. Learn more about how long it will take to get SSD benefits.

If you don’t submit your Request for Reconsideration in the 60 day time frame, then the SSA will make you to start the application process over again. Starting over again is a huge waste of your time.  Instead of giving up or filing a new application, send in your appeal. Then, the SSA will review your case again. Make sure to appeal within the 60 day time frame.

Request for Reconsideration. Appeal. text on white paper over torn paper background.


If you receive a denial from the SSA, then how do you file a request for reconsideration?

It is simple. First, go to the SSA website.

Next, click on the square that says “Disability.”

Scroll Down the page and look for a blue box that says “Learn More or Appeal a Decision.” Click it.

On the next page, once you scroll down a tiny bit, there will be a blue box called “Reconsideration.” Click on the box.

If you filed an SSDI and SSI claim, then next you need to click on the blue box that says “Request Medical Reconsideration.”

You are going to fill out the form that will come up next. The reason you are asking for medical reconsideration is that you have been denied benefits because the SSA does not think you qualify for benefits. You will read the instructions on the next page and then click on the box that says “Start a New Appeal.”  You only click on the other box if you are coming back to finish an appeal you already started.


Disability Determination Services (DDS) reviews your appeal. DDS is a state run agency that reviews all applications and appeals for SSDI and SSI benefits. Therefore, the same agency that looks at your application will review your appeal. While it is true that DDS reviews your initial application. It will not be the same person who reviews your case again. A new person will review your appeal and any new medical evidence you submit.

Therefore, it is important to submit any updated medical evidence at the time you request reconsideration. That way the new DDS worker can determine if you are disabled. The only thing that is going to change the mind of the person who is looking at the case is new medical evidence. If they simply review the same evidence, then they will come to the same conclusion that the first person did.

You should have your doctor write a letter stating why you cannot work. Your doctor will need to outline your symptoms and explain how those symptoms keep you from working 40 hours a week. Learn more about the importance of medical evidence in your claim for SSD benefits.


When you are at the initial level or the next appeal level in your case, DDS may schedule you for an exam with one of their doctors. Read our article about what to expect at the SSA doctor exam. If DDS needs more information about your mental health, then they will send you to see a psychologist. Learn more about how to prepare for the psychological exam.

Likewise, if the SSA needs more physical information, then they will send you to a physical exam. You need to go to the exam. The SSA sends you to an exam in order to get more medical information about your overall health and ability to work.

If you don’t go, then the SSA will automatically deny your case. You don’t want that to happen. Use the exam to tell the doctor what physical and mental conditions are making it impossible for you to work. For example, if you have liver cancer or breast cancer, or any other disease, bring your medical records to the exam so the doctor can read them. Don’t rely on the SSA to send your medical records to the exam for you. They won’t do it.

The SSA will send you a written notice about your exam in the mail. It will have the name of the doctor, the address you need to go to, and the date and time of the exam.

If you cannot attend the exam, then you must immediately call the SSA. Inform them that you have a conflict. Usually, they will give you a new appointment time so that you can attend. Whatever you do, do not miss the exam. They will not give you a new exam if you miss it without explanation.


Once you have gone to the exam, the doctor will write a report. Then the doctor will submit their report to the SSA. You will not receive a copy of the report in the mail. So, you will not know what it says. But your attorney can get a copy of the report. Likewise, DDS and any future judge in your case will have access to the report.

Most of the time, the report contains general information. It also will quote the statements you made to the doctor. For example, if you tell the doctor you do drugs or drink a lot of alcohol, then that will appear in the report. If you tell the doctor that you can work, then the doctor will write that in the report.

Additionally, if you overreact to pain at the physical exam, then the doctor will write about that. Some people make the mistake of yelling or crying during the exam. A doctor can tell when your reactions are too big for the pain you are experiencing. Be honest at the exam.

The doctors may review your medical records prior to the exam. They may write about your physical and mental history. However, the report usually includes information about how your medical condition would affect you if you were working on a 40 hour a week job. Learn more about the SSA doctor exam.

If for any reason you cannot attend, then you should ask the SSA for a new appointment time. The SSA pays for the exam and will use the results to decide your case. But if you do not attend the exam, then they will use your failure to attend to deny your claim.


The majority of cases are also denied at the reconsideration level. You can’t let this discourage you. Once you start the five step SSA review process you are in it for the long haul. You need to understand that your claim for benefits is no different than any other. Your SSD case is just one in millions. And, like 80-90% of cases, you will probably not win your case until you reach a hearing with a judge.

Of course, you can always spend time feeling angry about the SSA denying your claim. But frankly, yelling at your attorney or believing that your case is special and should be awarded right now is just a waste of time. Instead, spend your time filing an appeal and then visiting your doctor.

You will be asking your doctor for support. Therefore, it is important that you have a good relationship with your doctor. It is also important that you follow the treatment plan that your doctor gives you. Make sure your doctor will support you in your claim for benefits long before you get to the hearing stage of your case.

Then, before your hearing, review your symptoms so you can explain, using numbers and examples, how you are not able to complete an 8 hour workday.  All of the hearing questions revolve around whether or not you can work. Prepare yourself to answer questions about your physical and mental health.

Be ready to state how long you lay down during the day. There answer should be “2 hours,” not “a lot.” Be ready to testify about how many pounds you can lift. The answer should be “less than 10 pounds,” not “not very much.” Be specific and you will have a better chance of winning your benefits.


In the past 30 years, we have won millions of dollars in SSDI and SSI benefits for our clients. If you want to win benefits, then you need to hire an attorney with the legal experience to win your case. Also, you need a lawyer to show the SSA that you qualify for SSDI benefits. We can do that. Contact us today.

If you want to learn more about our lawyers and staff, then read our About Us page. For instance, Andria Summers has a license to represent clients before the SSA. She can help you with your Medicare plan. She has also won thousands of cases. Dianna Cannon has been helping clients who need SSDI and SSI benefits for more than thirty years. Brett Bunkall also has years of experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSD benefits. We are experts. You can trust us to help you win benefits.

In the past 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases for our clients. Also, we help our clients understand their Medicare benefits. Our experts can help you apply for SSDI and SSI benefits using the SSA’s website.

Likewise, if you need an appeal, then we can help you do that too. There are also many forms you will need to fill out. But, don’t worry. If you have questions about these forms, then we will answer them. You can learn more about SSA’s appeal forms. Call us for a free review of your case today.


Attorney fees may be on your mind when you file a request for reconsideration of your SSD benefits. The good news is that you don’t need to worry about paying an attorney fee unless we win your case.

In Social Security cases, attorney fees are controlled by the government. The SSA sets and approves the amount of the attorney fee. For example, a judge must approve all attorney fees in every SSD claim.

The SSA has capped attorney fees in Social Security cases at 25% of your past due benefit or the attorney fee cap, which ever is less. The most your attorney can charge you if your case is won at the hearing level or below is the fee cap. Currently, the cap is $7200. However, is is going up to $9200 in November 2024.

For example, if we win your SSDI case and your back benefit is $10,000, then the attorney fee will be 25% of the back benefit, or $2500. In most SSDI and SSI cases, the attorney fee is less than the cap. Since you only pay an attorney fee if you win benefits, you do not have to worry about having money upfront to hire a lawyer. You can learn more about how attorney fees work in SSD cases.


In another example, if you attorney wins your SSDI case and your back benefit is $100,000, the attorney fee is not $25,000, which is 25% of the back benefit. Instead, the attorney fee would be $7200 (or $9200 in November 2024). The attorney fee cap is most your attorney can charge you after winning your case at the hearing level or below. That is true even if 25% is higher than the cap.

Additionally, your attorney can only charge an attorney fee if they win your case. In other words, if you do not win your benefits, then you do not pay an attorney fee. This means that your attorney has worked for up to two years on your case for free. So, if you don’t get benefits, then your attorney doesn’t get paid. Obviously, your attorney has a good reason to win your case.

Even if you have already filed your application and did so without an attorney, we can still represent you at reconsideration stage. In fact, you can hire an attorney to help you at any stage in the appeal process. However, it is always best to hire an attorney with Social Security legal experience to help you at the outset of your case. That way, everything you submit to the SSA will be done the right way.


Even if you submit all of your medical information and fill out the SSA forms perfectly, you may still be denied benefits. Please remember that across the country 86 percent of Social Security claims are denied at the reconsideration level.  This may be a shocking number. But, it is what it is. The only way to obtain your benefits is to soldier on. Therefore, you must file an appeal as soon as possible.

If your case receives a denial at the reconsideration stage, then it is time to Request a Hearing. You can complete the Request for Hearing form online too, just like the you can any SSA appeal form. Learn more about appeal forms and SSA application forms. If you need the help of an attorney to appeal your case, then contact us today.


You need a lawyer to help you file a request for reconsideration. However, you also need a law firm you can trust. You can trust us. If you want to learn more about the lawyers at our law firm, then read About Us. There you will find that Dianna Cannon has many years of experience helping clients win benefits. She has been an attorney for thirty years. Ms. Cannon also has law licenses in a number of states. For example, she has law licenses in California, Utah, Nevada, and Washington State. Learn more information about filing for SSD and SSI benefits in Utah. Our Nevada SSDI benefits page can give you information if you are seeking SSD benefits in Nevada.

Additionally, Brett Bunkall has experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSDI benefits. He has a license to practice law in Idaho from the Idaho State Bar Association. Find out more about SSDI and SSI benefits in Idaho. Similarly, all of our lawyers and staff are experts in Social Security law. We also represent clients in Colorado and California. Colorado SSDI information and California SSD benefits information are on our website. You can trust us to help you win your benefits.

Finally, do not give up.  If you are denied, then we will help you file an appeal. Also, if you just want help filing for benefits, then we are here for you.  Hiring an attorney to help you with your claim will increase your chances of winning benefits.  You can contact Cannon Disability Law for free. We offer a free review of your case. Also, we will answer your questions about the how to appeal any SSA denial. Finally, we will help you file a request for reconsideration.

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