It can be frustrating to receive a denial of disability benefits when you know you are eligible for disability benefits. Unfortunately, you have just a short time to appeal a decision in your case or the Social Security Administration (SSA) closes your case. If the SSA closed your case, you may need to start again by filing a new application for disability benefits. However, before you do that, talk to our Texas Social Security disability lawyers. There are situations in which you can reopen a Social Security disability claim.
Why Do I Want to Reopen My Disability Claim?
Reopening a claim may help expedite your disability claim. However, even if it does not, reopening your claim may still benefit you. The SSA awards back pay in disability claims, retroactively paying you back to the date of your disability. By reopening your disability claim, you may be entitled to a larger amount of back pay because your disability date may be the date of your original disability application.
When Can I Reopen a Social Security Disability Claim?
Your current disability must be the same or a disability related to the disability you reported originally to reopen a closed disability claim. The onset of the disability must also fall within the timeframe covered by your first disability application.
If the claim closed within the last 12 months, you can reopen the claim for any reason. However, claims that closed over one year ago are a bit more difficult to reopen.
Claims closed for over a year but not more than four years are only reopened upon a finding of good cause. The SSA may consider a finding of new evidence that was not considered in the original case to be good cause for reopening a Social Security disability claim. Obvious errors that could have led to an incorrect decision in your case could also be good cause for reopening a disability claim. For cases that closed more than four years ago, it is rare for the SSA to reopen a disability claim except in cases involving fraud.
Process for Reopening a Closed Social Security Disability Claim
There is not a specific form that you use to reopen a disability claim. You must file a new application for disability benefits. Your new application should include a request to reopen and combine the two claims. The request should clearly indicate that the onset date of your disability was within the applicable timeframe and the reasons why the SSA needs to reopen your disability claim.
You cannot appeal a decision denying your request to reopen a Social Security disability claim. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you provide as much information as possible with your request to demonstrate that reopening your claim is justified. An experienced disability lawyer can ensure that the information contained in your new disability application is relevant to your original disability claim. The attorney can also include specific information and references to evidence that builds a strong argument in favor of reopening your disability claim.
Contact a Texas Social Security Disability Attorney for Additional Information
Reopening your original disability claim may or may not be the best way to seek disability benefits. Before taking any steps, let our Texas estate planning & Social Security attorney review your situation to evaluate your options and determine which option gives you the best chance of receiving the disability benefits you deserve. Contact the Law Office of Carey Thompson today to learn more.