By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

Navigating the complexities of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can feel like trying to unravel a maze without a map. For many Floridians facing disability, the process of applying for benefits or appealing denied claims can be overwhelming. But fear not, as there are avenues for reconsideration and hearings that could potentially turn the tide in your favor. Here, we’ll explore the differences between SSDI or SSI reconsideration and hearings, helping you decide the best path forward for your unique situation.

Understanding SSDI and SSI

Before delving into the reconsideration and hearing processes, let’s first grasp the basics of SSDI and SSI. SSDI provides benefits to individuals who have worked and paid Social Security taxes but are unable to work due to a disability. On the other hand, SSI offers financial assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources, regardless of their work history.

The Initial Application Process

The journey typically begins with an initial application for SSDI or SSI benefits. This involves gathering medical records, completing forms, and providing evidence of your disability and financial situation. However, it’s not uncommon for initial applications to be denied due to various reasons, such as insufficient medical evidence or incomplete paperwork.

Reconsideration: A Second Chance

If your initial application for SSDI or SSI benefits is denied, the next step is reconsideration. During this stage, your case will be reviewed by a different examiner than the one who initially evaluated it. You’ll have the opportunity to submit additional evidence to support your claim, such as updated medical records or statements from healthcare providers.

Reconsideration offers a second chance to present your case, but it’s essential to address any shortcomings in your initial application. Working with experienced advocates, such as Disability Advocates Group, can significantly improve your chances of success during the reconsideration process.

Hearing: Presenting Your Case

If your claim is denied again after reconsideration, don’t lose hope. You have the right to request a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). This is a crucial stage in the appeals process, where you’ll have the opportunity to present your case in person.

During the hearing, you, your representative from Disability Advocates Group, medical experts, and vocational experts may testify. The ALJ will carefully consider all evidence presented and ask questions to better understand your disability and its impact on your ability to work.

Choosing the Best Path for You

Deciding between reconsideration and a hearing depends on various factors, including the strength of your case and your comfort level with the process. Reconsideration offers a quicker review but may not always result in a favorable outcome. On the other hand, a hearing allows for a more thorough examination of your case but involves a longer wait time.

When determining the best path forward, it’s essential to weigh your options carefully and seek guidance from experienced professionals like Disability Advocates Group. Their expertise can help you navigate the complexities of the SSDI or SSI appeals process and maximize your chances of success.


Navigating the SSDI or SSI appeals process can be daunting, but you don’t have to go it alone. Whether you’re considering reconsideration or preparing for a hearing, the skilled Florida Social Security Disability attorneys at Disability Advocates Group are here to support you every step of the way. With their guidance and expertise, you can increase your chances of obtaining the benefits you deserve and secure a brighter future despite your disability. Whether you live in Orlando or Ft. Lauderdale, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance—you don’t have to face this journey alone.

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals in Florida obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.