The request for reconsideration is your first appeal after your initial application for Social Security disability is denied. Your appeal for reconsideration is filed with the Social Security Administration and is decided at the DDS (Disability Determination Services) agency by a DE (disability examiner) that took no part in the initial decision. One of the ways to improve your chances of winning your benefits at the reconsideration level is by getting a copy of your file. Many times medical evidence may be inadvertently overlooked by the DE at the DDS agency handling your claim. A request for medical records is sent to your doctor when you file your initial application for benefits; however, if your doctor does not respond, there is very rarely any follow up done to obtain the records and thus a decision regarding your disability is made without those records.
Obtaining of a copy of your claim file will show you exactly what medical evidence was used to decide your application. If you find that certain records were excluded, do the best you can to make sure the DDS agency handling your claim has the correct name, address, and contact numbers for the doctor that failed to submit the records as well as for any new doctors you may have begun seeing after you filed your initial application for benefits. Additionally, your file should contain an RFC (residual functional capacity) form filled out by a doctor employed by DDS. This form is used to indicate any functional limitations you may have due to medical conditions contained in the medical records used to decide your claim. You can use this form to ensure all of your medical conditions were in fact considered by the disability examiner at DDS and to figure out what further information and/or records are needed to ensure you win your case when you file your request for reconsideration. Finally, you are required to fill out forms about your health and your ability to care for yourself when you appeal your initial denial for Social Security benefits. Take your time filling out these forms and make sure that all of the information you provide is up to date and accurate.