For almost 20 years, the Social Security disability appeals process worked differently in New Hampshire than it did in most other states. From 1999 through 2018, New Hampshire was one of a few states designated as a prototype. For New Hampshire Social Security disability applicants, this meant that they could skip the reconsideration stage of a Social Security disability appeal if their claim was denied and, instead, go right to a hearing.
New Hampshire Social Security Disability Appeals Changed in 2019
In 2019, the Social Security Administration added the reconsideration step back into the Social Security disability appeals process for New Hampshire and other prototype states. Reconsideration once again became a necessary step in New Hampshire, California, Colorado, Louisiana, New York, and Pennsylvania in 2019, and it is expected to be added back into the appeals process in Alabama, Alaska, Michigan, and Missouri during 2020.
Once the last four states have reconsideration reinstated, Social Security disability applicants in all states will need to go through the reconsideration process if their initial claims are denied, and they wish to pursue an appeal to get the disability benefits that they deserve.
Does Reconsideration Work for Social Security Disability Applicants?
Reconsideration is often criticized as an unnecessary step in the Social Security disability appeals process. Relatively few claims are approved at this level of appeal, and the reconsideration process can add a few months to the timeline of the appeal. The low number of approvals and the extra time make reconsideration a frustrating step for many Social Security disability applicants.
However, some requests for reconsideration are approved, and the applicants who receive approval can avoid the cost, stress, and waiting that further appeals to an administrative law judge, the appeals council, or to a federal court require.
To maximize your chances of a successful reconsideration, it is essential to understand the process and how an experienced New Hampshire Social Security disability lawyer can help you.
How Reconsideration Works
Most Social Security disability applications are denied, but a denial does not have to be the end of your claim. If your initial Social Security disability claim was denied, then the first step in the appeals process is to request a reconsideration. As the term reconsideration suggests, your initial application will be reviewed again, but by different people. You have the right to present additional relevant evidence for your new reviewers to consider.
You have 60 days from the time that your initial claim was denied to request a reconsideration. Your reconsideration request must be in writing. You can do it on a specific Social Security Administration form (SSA-561 Request for Reconsideration if you are doing it in person or by mail or i561 if you are doing it online), or by submitting anything else in writing that indicates that you disagree with the denial of your disability claim.
At the end of the reconsideration process, your claim may be approved, and you may be eligible for benefits. More often, however, you will receive a notice that your reconsideration was denied, and you will have to decide whether to request a hearing before an administrative law judge.
What to Do If Your Social Security Disability Application Is Denied in New Hampshire
The letter denying your Social Security disability claim may have left you frustrated, scared, and unsure of what to do next. You know that you suffer from a permanent or life-threatening medical condition and that you can’t work, but how are you going to pursue a successful appeal?
Our experienced New Hampshire Social Security disability lawyers may be able to help you. We will review your claim, submit the right form and accompanying evidence for reconsideration, and, if necessary, represent you at every additional stage of appeal, including at a hearing in Manchester.
You don’t have to do this alone. Call Keefe Disability Law today and speak to one of our knowledgeable paralegals or experienced disability attorneys. Let us handle your appeal while you concentrate on your medical care, your family, and the things that you enjoy. Call us toll-free at 888-904-6847 or fill out our online contact form to learn more.