It is not unusual for a North Carolina applicant for Supplemental Security Income to have the claim denied the first time he or she applies. This does not mean that the case is over. If the person believes that the case is viable and he or she meets the basic criteria of being blind, having a disability or being 65 or older and meets the income requirements, it is wise to appeal denied SSI claims. There are four levels of appeal, but this post will center around reconsideration because there are different aspects to it.
Reconsideration entails the entire case being reviewed by someone who played no role in the first part of the decision. The evidence will be examined and new evidence can be presented. It is important to note that there are different procedures as to why the case is being appealed. If the reconsideration is because of the medical condition, there will be a case review. If it is for any other decision, it can be a case review, an informal conference or a formal conference. The case review means that the case will be examined without having to meet the applicant. The applicant, however, does have the right to see what is in the file prior to the Social Security Administration commencing with the review. The applicant also has the right to provide more information before the case is examined.
An informal conference means that the person can look at the file and provide more information, but is also allowed to come to the conference and talk to the person who is conducting the review, explaining why the decision was wrong. Witnesses can be brought along to provide support. A formal conference can be used if the SSA changes or stops the payments. This lets the applicant or a legal representative ask questions of witnesses and witnesses can be compelled to appear.
There are, of course, four levels of appeal with reconsideration being he second behind a hearing and before the Appeals Council and finally a federal lawsuit. Reconsideration can be a useful way to have the original decision denying SSI benefits overturned. A lawyer experienced in SSI Supplemental Security Income will understand how to appeal denied SSI claims and can help.
Source: ssa.gov, “Your Right to Question a Decision Made on Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Claim — Reconsideration, pages 4-5,” accessed on Nov. 21, 2017