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After your initial disability application is reviewed by a DDS examiner, you’ll receive notice in the mail stating whether you were approved or denied for benefits.

If you were denied, you have the right to request reconsideration – asking the DDS to look at your claim again. You have 60 days to file this appeal.

Just because your claim is denied does not mean that you are not disabled. It is very common for initial applications to be denied. There can be different reasons for your denial, and your denial letter will give you an explanation. Maybe your claim did not include one of the listed disability impairments, or you didn’t have enough medical evidence in your file, or the examiner believes you are qualified to work other jobs.

Whatever the reason, you can call your local Social Security office and request a copy of your file from the DDS so you can review it before you submit your appeal. You’ll probably have to go to the office to pick it up, and you might be asked to pay for the printing. Having a copy will allow you to correct any errors and fill in gaps that made the examiner think that you were not qualified for disability.

Once you get a copy of your file, read each section and look for things that you left out, or that the examiner or consultant overlooked. Your file should contain medical records from any doctors who are treating you for the condition(s) you are claiming. Make sure your doctors have addressed each of your medical issues and accurately described how it affects you. Also, make sure all relevant test results are included.

You have 60 days to submit a reconsideration appeal. If you don’t file an appeal within 60 days, you’ll have to start the application process over again with a new claim. Of course it’s much easier to appeal than to restart the entire process, so act quickly.

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