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What to expect during the reconsideration appeal process

Tennessee residents applying for disability may be interested in learning what the chances of approval are at the Social Security reconsideration and hearing levels. When a person appeals a decision regarding their disability, the first appeal is called the request for reconsideration. This appeal is sent to the same agency that denied the first application. It is not surprising that in many cases, people are not awarded benefits after they have filed their first appeal.

This is due in part to the fact that appeals are decided based on the same guidelines used for the initial application. If a claimant does not have a new persuasive medical condition or information to add to the record, it is likely that the appeal will have the same result as the initial request. Usually, there is no major change because the appeal and the initial application are usually only a few weeks or a few months apart.

It doesn't matter if a different examiner is reviewing the appeal. The criteria for accepting or denying claims are universal. The only way that there will be a change in the decision is if the claimant's medical condition got drastically worse from the time of the initial application to the time of the appeal or if a gross error on the part of the first disability examiner comes to light. Statistics show that approximately 81% of reconsideration appeals are met with denial.

However, the second level of appeal, the disability hearing, has a better chance of approval. In fact, 61% of individuals who file that second appeal and have legal representation are approved for disability benefits.

The laws surrounding Social Security disability can be difficult to understand. A person may not understand what is considered a disabling health condition or may lack the medical documentation needed to make a proper appeal. In these instances, a Social Security disability lawyer may be able to provide information and guide their client through the application or appeal process.

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