If your initial claim is denied, you will get a denial letter that has a deadline to file your appeal. Do not miss this deadline. You can file your appeal by any of the methods that you used to file your initial application. This appeal is called Reconsideration. 10 areas of the country actually skip the Reconsideration step! Those places are: Alabama, Alaska, California (Los Angeles North and West branches only), Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania.
If you live in one of these areas, then you will still file an appeal, but your request will be for a Hearing, not for Reconsideration, so skip to the next section.
The appeal form will ask you what doctors you have seen since you initially applied, what medications you are taking, and whether anything has changed. Once you file your appeal with the Social Security Administration, your claim will be sent back to DDS. Your claim will be assigned to a different examiner.
At this stage, the examiner will look over your file and if anything has changed, the examiner will request updated medical records. At the Reconsideration stage, almost all claims are denied. In fact, in 2017, 87.2% of Reconsideration claims were denied!
You can think of it as the “rubber stamp” stage, as it is rare for DDS to reverse its determination. So, again, your claim is forwarded back to the Social Security Administration who will send you another denial letter.