When Should You Start Your Application Over Again?
So the first time you applied for Social Security Disability benefits, you were denied. You aren’t alone.
Only 23% of initial disability claims were approved in a recent 10-year period, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
But don’t give up. Instead, focus on what to do next.
You have two main options for continuing to pursue disability benefits: appeal or reapply.
In most cases, your best course is appealing your initial decision until you reach a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ).
By the numbers, you’re most likely to have your claim approved this way. An ALJ has more flexibility in making their decision. And you can get an attorney to help you prepare at this stage – with no fee unless you win.
But in some cases, you might not have the option to appeal, and reapplying is your only choice.
When Should You Reapply?
- In a few cases, reapplying might be your only avenue to keep seeking benefits:
- If your medical condition didn’t fit the SSA’s definition of a disability the first time you applied, but your health has since gotten worse
- If you were receiving benefits before, stopped because your condition improved, and now your health has worsened again
- If your application was turned down and you failed to appeal before the deadline
- If your initial application was missing substantial medical information that could prove your claim
If you have any of the above situations, call The Law Offices of John Hurley to discuss your claim.
How to Reapply Successfully
Because reapplication generally isn’t the best way to win benefits, you want to make sure your application is thorough and accurate this time around.
To give your reapplication the best chance, the most important step is to include new information that you didn’t have in your earlier application.
Claims examiners use the same guidelines to consider claims, so reapplying with the same information will almost certainly result in denial.
Previous applications don’t necessarily hurt your new claim. But reapplying multiple times without providing new information is wasting your time.
Alternatives to Reapplying
You have two major ways to avoid having to reapply in the first place:
- Appealing your denial in a timely fashion
- Reopening on old claim
It’s always better to appeal a denial right away than to wait too long and need to reapply.
When you get notice of a denial, you face a strict deadline to appeal, so move quickly.
If you end up having to reapply for the same condition without any change in your health or the evidence you can present, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage.
But sometimes, you may be able to reopen your previous case instead of filing a new claim.
This has one big advantage: Your benefits will be backdated to the original filing date.
But it also has a serious drawback: Reopening a case is hard.
If you filed your initial claim less than a year ago, you must show “new and material” evidence.
Or you have to show that the previous decision was obviously in error. That’s not easy to do.
And here’s another major risk about reopening a claim: If your claim is reopened and denied, you cannot appeal that denial.
An experienced disability attorney can help you determine the best approach for you, from appealing to reapplying to reopening a claim.
The Law Offices of John Hurley will evaluate your situation for free. Call us today.