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How Long Does Social Security Reconsideration Take?


Are you having problems with your Social Security claim? If your initial application for Social Security disability benefits is denied, you have the right to request a reconsideration. But how long does social security reconsideration take?

The duration of the Social Security Reconsideration procedure varies, and numerous factors affect the overall timeline. The process for Social Security disability benefits can be complicated, and it’s important to hire a legal expert or representative who can guide you through the process and advocate on your behalf.

Let’s talk about the specific timeframe for social security reconsideration, how long each one may take, and what you can do to expedite the process.

Initial Review and Submission

When you first apply for Social Security reconsideration, your case will undergo an initial review and submission process. This is the first step in the reconsideration journey.

Once received, a Social Security representative will carefully review your application. They’ll examine all the information you provided, including medical records, your work history, and any additional documents you submitted. This review is crucial, as it helps determine if your case meets the necessary requirements for reconsideration.

During the initial review, the Social Security representative will also ensure that your application is complete and accurate. If any information is missing or unclear, they may contact you for clarification or request further documentation. It’s essential to be prompt and thorough in responding to any requests from the Social Security office to avoid delays in the process.

Once the initial review is complete, your case will be submitted for reconsideration. A different Social Security representative who wasn’t involved in the initial review will carefully evaluate it. This ensures a fresh perspective and a fair assessment of your case. The submission process may take some time, as the representative will meticulously examine all the details before making a decision.

Request for Reconsideration

After completing the initial review and submission process, you can now proceed to the next step: requesting a reconsideration for your Social Security case. The request for reconsideration is the second stage in the appeals process. This stage involves submitting a formal request to the Social Security Administration (SSA) within 60 days from the date of your initial denial letter.

To request a reconsideration, you need to complete Form SSA-561, which is the ‘Request for Reconsideration.’ This form requires you to provide updated information about your case and explain why you believe the initial decision was incorrect. You should include any new evidence that supports your claim and address any concerns or issues raised in the denial letter.

Once you have completed the form, you can submit it to your local SSA office or mail it directly to the SSA. It’s essential to keep a copy of the completed form for your records. After submitting the request, the SSA will review your case again, taking into consideration the new evidence and information you have provided.

The length of time it takes for a reconsideration decision can vary depending on various factors, such as the complexity of your case and the workload of the SSA office handling your claim. On average, the reconsideration process can take around three to six months. If your request for reconsideration is also denied, you can proceed to the next stage of the appeals process, which is a hearing before an administrative law judge.

Review by Disability Examiner

The disability examiner will thoroughly review your case to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements for Social Security benefits. This review is a crucial step in the reconsideration process. The examiner will carefully examine all the medical evidence provided, including any new evidence submitted since the initial determination.

The examiner will assess your medical records, including doctor’s notes, test results, and treatment history, to evaluate the severity of your impairments and how they affect your ability to work. They’ll compare your medical evidence to the Social Security Administration’s guidelines for disability.

During this review, the examiner may contact your healthcare providers to gather more information or request additional medical exams. They may consult with medical or vocational experts to obtain their opinions on your case.

Once the review is complete, the examiner will make a determination based on the evidence presented. If they find that you meet the eligibility requirements for Social Security benefits, your claim will be approved. If not, your claim will be denied, and you’ll have the option to appeal the decision.

Decision and Notification

Upon completing the review, the examiner will make a determination and notify you of the decision regarding your Social Security benefits eligibility. After carefully evaluating all the evidence and medical information, the examiner will assess whether you meet the requirements for receiving Social Security benefits. This determination will be based on the severity of your medical condition and its impact on your ability to work.

Once the examiner has made a decision, you’ll receive a notification in writing. This notification will outline the examiner’s findings and provide an explanation for the decision. It’s important to carefully review this letter, as it will contain crucial information regarding your eligibility for Social Security benefits.

If the examiner determines that you’re eligible for benefits, the notification will also include details about the amount of benefits you’ll receive and when they’ll begin. On the other hand, if the examiner decides that you don’t meet the eligibility criteria, the notification will explain the rationale behind this decision.

It is crucial to keep in mind that the decision-making and notification process can take some time. Factors such as the complexity of your case and the workload of the examiner can contribute to delays. However, the Social Security Administration strives to process reconsideration requests as efficiently as possible.

Appeals Process

Are you dissatisfied with the decision regarding your Social Security benefit eligibility? You have the right to appeal the decision through the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) appeals process. The appeals process allows you to present new evidence, provide additional information, or correct any errors that may have been made during the initial review.

To start the appeals process, you need to submit a written request for reconsideration within 60 days of receiving the decision letter. It’s important to include any new evidence or information that supports your claim for Social Security benefits. Once your request is submitted, a different SSA representative will review your case, taking into account any additional evidence you provide.

The length of time it takes to complete the appeals process can vary. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few months to over a year to receive a decision on your reconsideration request. Factors that may affect the processing time include the complexity of your case, the availability of necessary medical records, and the backlog of appeals in your local SSA office.

While waiting for a decision, it’s essential to stay in touch with the SSA and promptly respond to any requests for information or documentation. Remember, the appeals process is designed to ensure that you receive a fair and thorough review of your eligibility for Social Security benefits.


Now that you know how long social security reconsideration may take, remember that it all starts with the initial review and submission, followed by a request for reconsideration. Throughout the process, be prepared for notifications, and keep in mind that there’s an appeals process available if needed. Stay patient and hopeful as you navigate the social security reconsideration process.

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