Have You Been Denied Social Security Disability or SSI Disability Benefits?

Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are programs that provide cash benefits to people who are unable to work because of a physical or mental impairment. If you have been denied these benefits but still feel that you are too disabled to work you may not need to go through the whole application process again. The notice you received denying you benefits should explain to you about your right to request “RECONSIDERATION”. Requesting Reconsideration tells Social Security you disagree with their denial of your application and you want them to review their decision.

You must request Reconsideration within 60 days of receiving your denial notice. You may do this by going to your local Social Security office and fill out a Request For Reconsideration form. Bring your denial notice with you. If you are unable to go into the office you may call your local office and ask that the form be sent to you. The day that you call will be considered the day that you apply for Reconsideration. If you wait more than 60 days to call or go into Social Security to request Reconsideration you may have to reapply unless you have a good reason for the delay.

If your medical condition is worse than when you first applied and your ability to work is even more limited be sure to state this on the Request for Reconsideration. List all of the problems that have an effect on your ability to work (eg. reading, writing problems, depression or anxiety problems, vision, breathing or hearing problems, pain, etc.). Also, check your denial letter to make sure Social Security has obtained medical information from all the sources listed on your application. If medical information is missing list the places where Social Security can obtain the missing information on the Request For Reconsideration.

In order to receive benefits at Reconsideration you will need to submit some additional proof that you are unable to work. On the last page of the denial letter Social Security will state the reason why you were denied. It will probably say that you are able to do a certain type of work such as sedentary, light, medium or heavy. You will need to prove to Social Security that they are mistaken and that you are not able to work at all or that you are not able to work the job that they say you can. You must have proof from your doctor(s) and other medical sources that show your medical condition is so severe that you are unable to work. This medical condition must have lasted or be expected to last at least 12 continuous months.   If you have a doctor that you see regularly, discuss the denial with your doctor(s). If the doctor(s) feel a wrong decision was made, ask them to send a letter to Social Security explaining your medical condition in detail and how it affects your ability to work.

If you do not have a doctor you will need to establish a medical relationship with a doctor as soon as possible. A number of communities have Community Health Centers. This may be a good place to start to build a medical record. If you need to see a specialist they will refer you to one. If your community does not have such a health center set up an appointment with a doctor in your area for the type of medical problem you are experiencing. Explain to the doctor that you are applying for disability benefits and that you need a thorough examination and a report submitted to Social Security about your medical condition. If you do see a new doctor call or go into Social Security and tell them the name of the doctor and the address so that Social Security may contact the doctor on their own.

If you are on Medicaid and are having difficulty locating a doctor that accepts Medicaid call the NYS Department of Social Services, Medicaid office, at 474-7300. If Albany is a long distance call for you, then you should call 1-800-342-3715 ext. 47300. You should ask for a listing of doctors who accept Medicaid in your area.   If you do not have medical insurance but you have a medical problem that Social Security has no information about, explain the medical problem to Social Security and ask that they send you to a doctor. If they agree to, Social Security will pay for the medical examination.

Once all the medical information is at Social Security it will take them about 2-3 months to make a decision.


√       If you have been denied disability benefits within the past 60 days but feel you are too disabled to work, you may not have to re-apply.

√       You will probably need to submit further medical information to Social Security after you request Reconsideration. 

√       It will take Social Security at least 60 days to make a new decision on our case.