Extending Your Student Visa

A student visa that lets you study at the university of your choice is a terrific thing for you. But what happens if your studies take longer than you planned? On top of exams and term papers, you may have to worry about your student visa expiring. That’s where an immigration lawyer can be your best friend. Understanding how immigration laws work can be the first step to making sure that you keep your student visa in good standing. My blog is all about immigration issues, especially those faced by foreign students. Check out the articles for more information that you can use to complete your studies in the country you chose to study in.

Three Things Everyone Filing For A Reconsideration On Their SSA Disability Denial Should Know

Law Blog

If your Social Security disability claim has been denied, you have the option of filing a Request for Reconsideration. This is the first step in the appeals process and comes before you can actually take the case to a judge in a hearing. Here's what you need to know about this particular step and how to handle it.

1. A new team will make a decision on the case.

Disability cases aren't decided in the local offices. Instead, each state has a Disability Determination Services (DDS) that makes the decisions for the Social Security Administration. Each case is developed by a "team," which generally includes clerical support, a case manager, and one or more doctors who review the evidence. 

When you file a Reconsideration, the case doesn't go to the same team that made the original decision. It's sent to an entirely new team with the goal in mind to reduce erroneous denials by letting a second set of eyes take a look at the case.

2. You need to try to add to the evidence in the file.

Many cases are denied the first time around because there isn't enough supporting evidence in the file to allow an approval. That makes it extremely important to add as much information as you can to your file. 

Look carefully at the denial letter that you received because there will be a list of all of the medical evidence received in your case. If any of your doctors failed to return the requested information, don't wait for them to do it this time around—contact the office yourself and ask for a copy of your records. You may have to pay a small copying fee, but then you can forward the information in support of your claim directly to the DDS.

Other things you should consider adding to your reconsideration request may include:

  • a list of all the doctors or hospitals you have seen since you filed your initial claim
  • the dates of any follow-up appointments that you already have scheduled
  • a personal log or diary of your day-to-day symptoms
  • information about any work that you've tried to perform and failed, along with an explanation of why you couldn't continue
  • copies of test results, including x-ray and MRI discs, if they help support your claim

3. It's important to ask your doctor for his or her support for your claim.

A lot of disability applicants never consider this step, either because they're embarrassed about having to file for disability or afraid that their doctors won't support their decision to file.

However, your doctor knows your condition better than anyone else, and Social Security gives preference to your treating physician or psychologist's statements over their own doctors. Knowing that your doctor is backing you is important—if he or she isn't, it may be time to find a new doctor that's more supportive.

If you're feeling confused or overwhelmed by the entire process, consider talking to an attorney who handles Social Security disability denials. You can find one at a law firm like Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law He or she can guide you through the process, make sure that your rights are protected, and help make certain that DDS has all of the necessary information in its file so that you claim can be approved.


3 March 2017