Appealing vs. Re-Opening a Claim

Q:  I’ve been denied Social Security disability benefits twice, what should I do?

A:  Don’t give up!  A very small number of applicants are awarded benefits at the initial levels of the Social Security disability benefits process.  This does not mean that you are not disabled.  If you have a medical condition that makes you unable to work, you should appeal your denial and request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge.  Many claimants get discouraged with the Social Security disability process only to file a new application months later when they are still unable to work.  It is always best to file an appeal instead of a new claim.  When you file a new claim, you are beginning all over again and resetting the wait time for a final decision.  You have 60 days from the date of your last denial to file an appeal.  An experienced Social Security disability attorney can help you file your appeal.

Q:  Do I need an attorney to file an appeal or to request a hearing?

A:  While you are not required to hire an attorney, an experienced disability attorney can help you navigate the complicated rules of Social Security Disability.   An attorney can take away a lot of the burden and stress by obtaining your records, providing you with advice on your case, and representing you in front of an Administrative Law Judge.

Q:  What if I have applied in the past and did not appeal?

A:  If you file a new application, you can request that your prior applications be reopened if certain requirements are met.  The judge will look to the time it has been since your prior application and the reason that you did not appeal to determine if your prior applications are eligible for reopening.  An experienced Social Security attorney can help determine if reopening may be an option for your claim.