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Do you know enough about the SSD appeals process? - II

Last week, we started discussing how even though it can be extremely upsetting to receive a letter from the Social Security Administration informing you that your disability benefits are being stopped, you don't have to panic.

That's because the letter is by no means the final word on your disability benefits, as there are actually four different levels of appeal available to you. In today's post, we'll take a closer look at the first level of appeal: reconsideration.

What exactly is reconsideration?

If you want to appeal the stoppage of your disability benefits, the first level of appeal is called reconsideration. Here, a complete review of your file, which can include new evidence, will be undertaken by a disability hearing officer who did not play any role in the initial decision to stop benefits.

Is this all that the reconsideration process entails?

No. As part of the reconsideration process, you also have the opportunity to meet with the disability hearing officer to discuss your situation and share why you believe that you are still suffering from a disability.

You are also permitted to bring another person who understands your condition to the hearing, as well as submit new evidence and review your agency records.

What happens when the reconsideration process is complete?

Once the disability hearing officer is finished, you will be sent a letter revealing the decision and explaining the reasons behind it.

What if I disagree with the decision (i.e., my disability benefits are still being stopped)?

If you disagree with the decision reached during reconsideration, you will have 60 days to request a hearing, something we'll explain further in our next post.

If you have received a letter notifying you of the termination of your disability benefits, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible to learn more about your options.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Your right to question the decision to stop your disability benefits," Accessed Feb. 11, 2015

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