The SSI Appeals Process in Pennsylvania Is Changing: What You Need to Know About Reconsideration (Video)

Authored By: Community Legal Services of Philadelphia

This video from Community Legal Services of Philadelphia explains changes that have gone into effect regarding how you must appeal determinations received that have denied applications for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).


Transcript of Video:

The SSI Appeals Process in PA is changing!

Starting April 2019, if you apply for Supplemental Security Income, also known as SSI, in Pennsylvania and are turned down, you have to appeal twice before you can get a hearing with a judge.

The first appeal is new. It's called Reconsideration.

If Social Security denies your application for SSI benefits, you have 65 days to file for Reconsideration. You can file at your local Social Security Office, or you can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and ask them to mail you the appeal form.

After you have filed the appeal, Reconsideration can take some time. The Bureau of Disability Determination, or BDD, usually takes about 100 days (3-4 months) to come to a decision about reconsideration.

There is no face-to-face hearing with Reconsideration, but there are some things you can do to make sure that your case is handled well. First, look out for mail from Social Security and from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Bureau of Disability Determination about your appeal. They may send you forms you need to fill out, or ask you to see a new doctor.

Second, contact the BDD to share any new information that could be important to your case.

Let them know if

  • you are experiencing new medical problems or you get a new doctor;
  • there are changes in your school or work; or
  • you move or there is a change in your address

You can contact BDD by calling any of their offices:

  • Wilkes Barre (800) 432-8039,
  • Harrisburg (800) 932-0701, or
  • Greensburg (800) 442-8018.

Third, consider getting a lawyer. Even though there is not a hearing during Reconsideration, a lawyer can help you with every step of the appeals process.

If you are denied at Reconsideration, don’t give up! Appeal again within 65 days in order to get a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. Many people who are denied SSI at Reconsideration go on to win their cases if they appeal again and have a hearing.

If you are living in Philadelphia and struggling with the Reconsideration process, or you need legal help or advice about Social Security, contact Community Legal services at (215) 981-3700 or (215) 227-2400.