If you have applied for Social Security Disability benefits and have been denied, you may believe you need to file a new application to get your case reviewed. However, that’s not always the best plan of action.
When You Should Restart Your Social Security Disability Claim
There are a few instances when restarting your Social Security Disability claim is practical. Here are a few examples when it may make sense for you to start over with a new application:
1. ) You were declared disabled according to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) rules, but had too much income or too many assets. If your financial situation has gotten worse – for example, you are no longer able to work and you have less than $2000 in assets if you are single – it may be a good idea to reapply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
2.) If you have been working steadily, you may have accumulated more work credits. If you have enough work credits and are considered disabled by the SSA, you could qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. To know if you have enough work credits to meet the SSA’s requirement, review your Social Security Statement at ssa.gov/myaccount.
3.) If you missed the 60 day window to appeal your denied claim. You only have 60 days to appeal your claim before you must refile your application. You may be able to get an extension on this deadline, so talk to a disability attorney to review your options.
When You Should Appeal Your Denied Disability Claim
Restarting your disability claim isn’t always a good idea. If your initial application has been denied, it’s often better to go through the appeals process than to start over. The reason for this has to do with how your back pay is calculated.
For SSI benefits, the date you file your application is the date used by the SSA to determine how much back pay you are owed. Back pay, or “past due” benefits, is awarded for the months you had to wait to be approved. For SSD benefits, the SSA can look back up to 17 months from when you filed the application to determine if you were disabled before you filed your claim. If you restart your application with a new file date, you could potentially lose out in thousands of dollars of back pay.
If your condition has gotten worse or your limitations have increased, you do not need to restart your claim if you are still within the 60-day appeal window. An attorney can help gather your recent medical records and doctors’ opinions and present them to the SSA for review. Depending on where your claim is in the appeals process, these records will be reviewed by an Administrative Law Judge or an SSA employee.
Remember, just because your initial application was denied doesn’t mean that you are not entitled to benefits. An experienced Social Security Disability attorney can help you navigate the appeals process and increase your odds of winning your case.
If you’d like to know more about the Social Security Disability process, you can download a free copy of the Law Guide to Iowa Social Security Disability Claims on our website.