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

2723. Reconsideration

2723.1 What is reconsideration?

Reconsideration is the first step in the appeals process. It is a thorough and independent review of your case. It includes the evidence you submitted for the initial determination and any additional evidence you submit with your reconsideration request. The reconsideration determination is made by a Social Security employee who has been trained in this process and who was not involved in the initial determination you are appealing. See §2004.

2723.2 How do you request a reconsideration?

You, or your authorized representative, must request a reconsideration in writing within 60 days after the day you receive notice of our initial determination. (See section 2721.3 for information about when we presume you received our notice.)

If our initial determination indicates that we will reduce, suspend or end your entitlement to SVB, you must request reconsideration within 10 days after the day you receive the notice to ensure that your payments continue until we make a reconsideration determination.

2723.3 What are your options during the reconsideration process?

The reconsideration process may consist of a case review, or under certain circumstances, informal or formal conferences.

  1. Case review: This is an independent review of your record, per 2723.1 in this section. It is the only option available when you request reconsideration of the initial determination(s) that we made on your SVB application.

  2. Informal conference: This is a review per 2723.1 in this section, in which you may participate. You may bring witnesses and present your case in person. You can select this option only in situations where you are entitled to SVB and our initial determination indicates that we will reduce or suspend your SVB payments or terminate your SVB entitlement.

  3. Formal conference: This includes the same steps as an informal conference. However, you may also request that adverse witnesses be issued a subpoena and cross-examined by you or your representative. The restrictions on selecting this option are the same as for the informal conference per 2723.2 in this section.

We hold informal and formal conferences only in the United States. We cannot pay your expenses to come to the United States and participate in one of these conferences.

Last Revised: Apr. 18, 2006

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