How Many Times Can You Apply for Social Security Disability?
There is no limit to the number of times you can apply for Social Security Disability (SSD or SSDI). The reason for the unlimited application policy is the changeable nature of individual health conditions and the unpredictability of accidental injury or progressive disease.
Whether you’re deciding to file a Social Security Disability claim for the first time, or you are appealing a denial, an experienced SSD lawyer will guide you through the best available process to maximize your chance of winning approval at the highest benefit level. London Disability and Attorney Scott London have been winning SSD benefits for their clients through initial filings, subsequent filings, and appeals for over 25 years. Always choose a professional SSDI attorney with expertise in SSD and SSI law and procedure. Your case will be much more likely to win approval.
Appealing an SSD Denial
No SSD applicant should ever accept an initial denial of their claim by the Social Security Administration. More than half of all SSD applications are denied initially. Always appeal your initial denial of SSD benefits.
More than 50% of claims that were initially denied win approval after appealing. Of course, your chance of winning increases exponentially when you hire an experienced SSD lawyer who knows the SSD regulations and proper procedures.
You must file the appeal of your denial within 60 days of receiving notice. Your first appeal will be a petition for reconsideration. At this stage, your application is reviewed by a different set of medical experts, but they still apply the same strict rules. Few decisions are changed at this level.
The next appeal level brings your case before an administrative law judge (ALJ). Your SSD attorney will have made sure any supportive medical records omitted from the application package will be included for this hearing. The ALJ will perform a much more detailed and thoughtful consideration of your claim.
There are two higher levels of appeal if the ALJ also denies the claim. Next is the Social Security Disability Appeals Council, and after that, the appeal is to the federal court. These advanced appeals are more time-consuming and work-intensive than the earlier appeals. Your Social Security Disability lawyer will discuss these complicated processes with you to decide if you wish to pursue them.
Refiling Your SSD Claim
If your SSD claim is denied either initially or by the administrative law judge, you should consider if a further appeal or filing a new claim is more advantageous.
The grounds on which your claim was denied are key to deciding which option is better.
- Worsened Condition – If your claim was denied because your impairment was deemed not to qualify you for disability benefits, your condition may change over time. If your condition worsens in time, an entirely new application can satisfy the disability criteria despite the earlier determination of ineligibility.
- New Medical Evidence – In a case where your condition is no worse than it was when your claim was denied, you may obtain new medical evidence, clearer or more definitive diagnoses, or more authoritative test results to prove the existence and intensity of your impairment. These circumstances certainly warrant the filing of a new SSD benefits application.
- Recent Meeting of 12-Month Disability Requirement – In some cases, an SSD benefits claim can be denied because the claimant’s impairment is not expected to last for 12 months or more. Meeting this simple eligibility qualification is a matter of time passing. Once your otherwise qualifying disability has persisted for 12 months, filing a new SSD claim should lead to approval.
- Obtaining More Work Credits – Regulations governing who is eligible for SSD benefits include a requirement that the applicant possesses 40 work credits, 20 of which were accumulated within the 10 years immediately preceding the onset of your disability. Applications for SSD benefits can be denied for an applicant’s lack of sufficient work credits. This situation can be remedied with the accumulation of more work credits.
It seems counterintuitive that someone’s denied claim of disability can be corrected by the claimant returning to work. But even fully disabled workers can perform some work under the SSD regulations. In 2021, each work credit is gained by earning $1,470. You can earn four credits per year.
Working with an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer is the best insurance you have that your SSD benefits claim will be fully prepared, accurately supported, and properly processed. SSD and SSI attorneys engage with the Social Security Administration’s processes every single day, and years of practice have disclosed valuable strategies leading to success.
Give yourself and your family the best chance of winning your SSD claim. The factors to be considered when deciding between an appeal or a new filing are complicated and involve obscure rules and regulations that only an experienced SSD claims lawyer thoroughly understands.