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Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

Social Security Acts To Increase Delays In Processing Disability Claims

Posted by John Kuhnlein | Apr 04, 2019 | 0 Comments

Social Security will reinstate the request for reconsideration (RFR) appeal in ten states over the next two years. The RFR is the appeal Social Security disability applicants file after Social Security denies their initial applications.

The 13% Solution

In theory, the RFR gives Social Security a chance to correct a wrong decision. Social Security would like you to believe that the RFR is a second, thorough and fair review of a disability application. In fact,

Mistake? What Mistake?

it is none of those things. The proof of this is that a Social Security approves a mere 13% of RFR appeals.  

But, Wait--It's Worse Than That

Worse still, most of these 13% approvals are done to ensure that the applicant gets as little back benefits as possible.  Most of the RFR approvals I see find that the applicant became disabled only weeks or months before filing their RFRs.  Essentially, Social Security will only approve an RFR where they have no other option (the claimant is dying, for example.) But, Social Security will make sure that the applicant benefits as little as possible despite approving the RFR.

One Purpose Only: Delay

In practice, the RFR has only one purpose: Delay. The RFR adds anywhere from 3-6 months to the

We Win Again

process.  Social Security disability applicants have to get through the RFR before they can request to see a judge. The current wait, just to see the Social Security judge, is around two years.

Disability Delayed Is Disability Denied

Why would Social Security add to the already-unconscionable delays when the RFR produces almost no approvals? Because the longer the process drags on, the more disability applicants give up, disappear, or even die. Social Security has made the calculation that delaying claims saves them money. Thus, the RFR.

The ten states where the RFR is coming back are:

As of Jan. 1, 2019, Reconsideration has been reinstated in five states:

  • California (Los Angeles North and West Branches)
  • Colorado
  • Louisiana
  • New Hampshire
  • New York

 It will be reinstated in the five remaining states on a rolling basis by June 26, 2020:

  • Pennsylvania: April 1, 2019
  • Alabama: Oct. 1, 2019
  • Michigan: Oct. 1, 2019
  • Missouri: Jan. 1, 2020
  • Alaska: March 1, 2020

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.


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John Kuhnlein has been assisting people with Social Security disability claims for the past 25+ years.

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