If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits more than once, you may wonder how many times you can appeal a claim or file a new one. You may be afraid that your chances of obtaining benefits are running out or have already run out.
Below, our Social Security Disability lawyers in Phoenix discuss this issue and other factors to consider when applying for or appealing a claim. In a free consultation with us we can explain why working with a qualified attorney can be so helpful. Schedule your consultation today.
Applying or Appealing
There is really no limit to the number of times you can apply for benefits or appeal your disability claim. However, there are a variety of other factors to consider when deciding whether to apply or appeal a denied claim.
Should I Appeal or File an Entirely New Claim?
For many applicants who have received a claim denial, an appeal is the best course of action. With an appeal, you have a protective filing date, which is the date that you first informed the Social Security Administration (SSA) of your intent to file a disability claim. If your appeal is successful, backpay is calculated according to your protective filing date.
When you pursue a new disability claim, you lose the original protective filing date and receive a new one for your new claim. In other words, you could lose benefits if you start the claims process over again.
However, in some cases, it is best to file a new disability claim. For instance, you may want to file a new claim if:
- Your next step in the appeal process is to have an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing. Once you go through the hearing and appeal the decision, you are prohibited from submitting a new claim.
- You have a substantial amount of evidence to support your disability claim, and this evidence was not available when you filed your initial claim. As the appeals process takes a great amount of time, it may be best to file a new claim with this information rather than wait to submit new evidence through the appeals process.
- Your condition is worse now than when you first filed your disability claim. By filing a new claim, things may be viewed differently, possibly improving your chances of being approved for benefits.
How Much Time do I Have to Appeal?
After you receive an initial denial from the SSA, the first level of appeals is reconsideration. This must be requested within 60 days of your denial.
If you wish to appeal the decision made during reconsideration, you may request a hearing with an ALJ. You must request this hearing within 60 days of the denial from reconsideration.
If your claim is denied by an ALJ, you may request an Appeals Council review. You have 60 days to do so from the date you receive the ALJ decision.
Why Do I Keep Getting Denied?
There are many reasons your disability claim may be denied over and over. The most common reasons for denied claims are:
- A lack of solid medical evidence supporting your disability and its interference with your ability to work
- You have not followed the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor
- You have not cooperated throughout the claims process, such as by failing to provide requested documents or attend scheduled medical exams
Contact Our Firm for Experienced Help with Your Claim
If you need assistance with your disability claim, our disability attorneys are here to help. We will fight to get your claim approved so you can access the benefits you deserve.
Request a free, no obligation consultation today and learn your legal rights. There are no upfront fees and we only get paid if we recover compensation for you.