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Communicating with DDS after Filing a "Request for Reconsideration"

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at ssa.gov.

536. Communicating with DDS after Filing a "Request for Reconsideration"

When the DDS receives the "Request for Reconsideration", the applicant's claim file is given to a new disability examiner, who is responsible for making the reconsideration determination. The new disability examiner will be someone who played no role in making the initial determination.

Representatives or case managers should communicate with the new disability examiner in the same way that they did with the examiner who made the initial determination. To find out who the new disability examiner is, one should call the DDS - just as described in Chapter 3.

When speaking with the disability examiner handling the reconsideration, the representative or case manager should focus on providing both updated information (about impairments already disclosed in the initial application) and new information (about new impairments and/or new information that have arisen since the initial application was filed). For example, an individual may file for disability based on depression. Based on all the information previously submitted, the case may be denied. When a reconsideration is filed, it is important to provide the DDS with any new medical records about the individual's depression. But it is equally critical to provide any records relating to any newly developed medical conditions - for example, the applicant may have developed a physical impairment such as heart disease.

Representatives or case managers should work with the claimant's physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist to obtain a new medical statement explaining why the clinician believes that the claimant is disabled under SSA rules. Once all of the relevant information is submitted to DDS, representatives or case managers should wait for the reconsideration determination. If additional new information is received at any time before a determination is issued, they should notify the DDS immediately and forward the relevant medical records/information to the disability examiner. It is appropriate for representatives or case managers to contact DDS or SSA to check the status of a determination. However, it is recommended that this not be overdone. In some states, advocates can check the status by calling the DDS "master files" number. A clerical employee is available to look up the case status in the computer and state whether the case is still pending or it is closed. SSA also has a toll free number that may be called for the status of a claim: 1-800-772-1213.

Last Revised: Jan. 22, 2008

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