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What to do if You Are Found "Not Disabled"

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

529. What to do if You Are Found "Not Disabled"

If you choose to appeal an unfavorable or partially favorable determination, you or your representative's first appeal request is called a "Request for Reconsideration." The "Request for Reconsideration" forms (or the SSA-561 and the SSA-3441) are available from the local Social Security office, SSA's toll-free service (1-800-772-1213), or on the SSA website, at, which is found under the section of the page called "Other forms." You can also file an appeal by sending a letter including your name, social security number, and a statement that you wish to appeal the determination. The statement does not have to be detailed, but an explanation as to why you or your representative do not agree with SSA's determination may be helpful. You must return all appeal forms to SSA before the appeal period ends, which is normally 60 days.

You will also need to complete a "Disability Report - Appeal" (SSA-3441) and sign additional "Authorization for Source to Release Information to the Social Security Administration-SSA-827" forms for any additional medical sources listed on the "Disability Report - Appeal". These are also available at the SSA website. In order for the reconsideration request to be accepted, you or your representative must send a SSA-561 or letter, the SSA-827s, and the SSA-3441 to the SSA office.

Last Revised: Jan. 22, 2008


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There are 7 Comments

hi my name is megan, im 18 and saturday evening i recived a letter in the mail saying that im losing my SSI check in a few months and i just wanted to let you know i cant work i have a back condition called and i cant be standing up for a long time and there aren't many desk jobs that i cant sit down at. i have been getting this ever since i was born and me and my boyfriend just got our own place christmas eve and we dont want to leave that soon and that check is all i have to pay bills and get food for me and my boyfriend. if you need and questions here's my cell number 903 xxx-yyyy and call whenever you get the chace and when im there because i have school but i leave at 1:53 so call me about 2:30 or 3:00 thank you. the number is

I'm a 27 year old male who is dealing with vertigo issues, and simply cannot work due to these. I've tried, and it is impossible. I've spent $20,000 seeing doctors trying to get an answer/solution to my problem, and no one know's what it is. I've applied for disability, and was denied. I think this whole process is a bunch of crap, and that the Social Security Administration does everything in their power to keep you from getting the benefits you deserve. I have everything they ask for which proves my disability, including multiple doctors notes saying that they support my claim, and yet the SSA still denies my claim. The whole system is pathetic, and I sympathize for anyone legitimately trying to get benefits. If I was 300lbs + and dealing with related health issues I would qualify. Justice? no.

This whole system is f*cked. I applied twice for fibromyalgia, which was made worse by an accident and now I'm lucky if I can get out of bed, let alone work even part-time. I did the same thing you did, brought ALL my doctor documentation plus the documents I received when I was medically discharged from the Army (yeah, not even the VA would help because I didn't log enough "active duty time") and STILL got denied. Fought for my country, got my entire neurological system totally F 'ed up, and was still told "no" because I have a B.S. and am only 26...go figure. I guess if I came here on a floating door, was a 16 year old with 3 kids or a 300lb fat a$$ who is just lazy....I'd get all the cash I could ever want just thrown at me!

Okay just because someone weighs 300+lbs doesn't mean they are lazy. I am 300+lbs and have worked since I graduated high school. I know I need to lose weight but I also really love food. My point is I only recently began having problems that make it painful for me to work . So does that mean that the 15 years that I worked where for nothing. I hope not, I hope that the government sees that I deserve help not just because I'm fat but because I earned it.

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