Applicants for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) typically have debilitating medical conditions and find themselves worried about their financial solvency in the future. Although the benefits won’t allow for a luxurious lifestyle, they can help someone cover their basic expenses when doing so becomes impossible because of a medical condition.

Whether you have a progressive condition like Lou Gehrig’s disease that prevents you from working or you recently acquired traumatic injuries, such as a spinal injury from a car accident, you may be in a situation where you can no longer provide for yourself and your family. Unfortunately, what may seem like a straightforward case for SSDI benefits on your application may not be as straightforward to the representatives from the Social Security Administration (SSA) who process your application.

That could mean that instead of a positive benefit determination, you receive a denial when you apply. Thankfully, you do have the option of requesting a reconsideration of your case, which can help you secure benefits after an initial denial.

What is a reconsideration?

There are multiple options available to someone with a denied SSDI application. The first step in the process is usually requesting a reconsideration. Reconsideration involves a thorough review of your claim and medical documentation by someone not involved in the initial processing and denial to ensure a non-biased opinion.

What happens if your reconsideration is successful?

Sometimes, it only takes a more careful review of the medical documentation to convince a representative of the SSA of your need for benefits. If your reconsideration is successful, you will likely start receiving SSDI benefits. In fact, you could receive back pay through the date of your application or when you first became eligible, if that date falls after the date of your application.

What if your reconsideration request is not successful?

If there wasn’t enough documentation in your original application or the language wasn’t right to convince the SSA to approve your benefits, a reconsideration of the same paperwork may not change the outcome.

Thankfully, there are further steps that you can take for an appeal, possibly including having a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. It’s important not to let a failure during a reconsideration or an initial rejection stop you from continuing to pursue the benefits you need to support yourself.