How Poppy Won Her Disability Reconsideration in 5 Easy Steps

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artwork: Robin Mead

The reconsideration stage is a quick extra appeal that only happens in some states. Only 7% of people get approved during reconsideration stage. That’s low!

However, from what we have seen, only about 2% of people take any steps to help their applications during reconsideration. So 7% is actually high!

If your state does not have a reconsideration stage, don’t worry. Everything on this page can help your application no matter what stage you are in.

Poppy is one of the few people we have met who took some steps to help her reconsideration. And she got approved. If Poppy can do it, you can do it too!

Poppy was too sick to do everything on her own, so her mother helped her. Here’s what Poppy and her mom did:

💮 They collected recent records. The medical records that Social Security had were not current, so Poppy collected her past three months of records. She did not use her online records, but went to the office and paid to get full records with treatment notes.

💮 They got an RFC form. Poppy brought an RFC forms to her primary care doctor and asked the doctor to fill it out. (See link below for copies of RFC forms)

💮 They updated. When Poppy first applied, she was in school taking part-time classes online. Because of her illness, she had withdrawn from school, and she wanted to update her file with this information. Poppy made a note on her forms that she had withdrawn from school for medical reasons. She also printed out an email she had gotten from the school which stated she had a medical withdrawal and she enclosed this with her records. She link below to learn more about Poppy in school

💮 They got a new test. Poppy thought it would be good to have at least one more medical test so she would have something new to submit with her reconsideration. She looked at different kinds of tests she could get. She tried to get an appointment with a neuropsychologist, but the quickest appointment was three months away. Then she called an Occupational Therapist to see about getting a functioning exam, but it cost $800, and the therapist told her it might not be a good match for her condition. Finally, she got a referral to a rheumatologist. The rheumatologist was able to do a trigger point test and examine her for Fibromyalgia. Poppy collected the records from the exam.

💮 They waited. They did not send in this Request for Reconsideration form right away. Instead she waited six weeks while she collected the materials above. Once she had everything together, Poppy’s mom hand delivered it all together to her local office. It must be received in 60 days in their hand, so they hand delivered it on day 58.

Poppy and her mom did not hire a lawyer, which turned out OK for them, because lawyers rarely do anything to really help during the reconsideration stage. Poppy and her mom were able to do much more than most lawyers do at this point. (It does not hurt to have a lawyer, since they may be able to help a lot more later on during your hearing and appeal, but if you want try to be approved now instead of waiting two years for an appeal, taking steps yourself is usually your best chance).

Two months later, Poppy got approved.


Learn More

How Poppy Got Her Medical Withdrawal from School

How to Collect All Your Medical Records (Keyword: All)

How To Improve Your Reconsideration Application

How to Get a Great RFC Function Form

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