California offers a 'reconsideration' of denied disability claims

Of all those who apply to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) each year, at least 66 percent have their applications denied. While individuals are entitled to reapply for benefits, many have to wait extended periods of time for their cases to be reviewed once again. Over the next 15 months, 10 states, including California, will institute a "reconsideration" policy aimed at expediting the re-review of claims.

Individuals who apply for and are denied benefits often wait a year or more for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to review their initial applications.

Very few individuals, such as those who have a chronic or debilitating condition listed on the Compassionate Allowances List or inoperable Stage IV cancer as listed on Terminal Illness (TERI), may qualify to have reviews of their applications expedited.

Others who are unsatisfied with the SSA's decision on their application are entitled to appeal, but often have to wait months or even years for them to be re-evaluated. The reconsideration policy that has been instituted in California lets applications be re-reviewed after as little as three months after the decision is appealed.

When applicants requested re-reviews of their files through the existing appeals channels in 2016 and 2017, only 13 percent of first-time applicant denials were overturned. The reconsideration process is expected to double the number of decision reversals.

The SSA has their own strict definition of what they consider to be a disability. It must be expected to last at least 12 months or more and prevent you from working.

If you have questions about your SSDI eligibility or believe your claim has been wrongly denied, an experienced attorney can provide valuable assistance.

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