Filing a New Disability Claim, Rather than Appealing a Denial

There’s little that’s more frustrating than receiving the notice that your claim for Social Security Disability benefits has been denied. But yet it happens to about 70% of applicants. Those who are denied often make mistakes that could cost them both time and money. One of the big mistakes made by those filing for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income (especially those who don’t have legal representation) is filing a new claim instead of appealing the denial.

There are a number of reasons why you should not file a new claim under most circumstances. The most obvious one is that your protected filing date is based on the date you first informed the Social Security Administration that you intended to file for disability benefits.

This protective filing date is then used to calculate the amount of back pay that is due to you. Should your claim eventually be approved, you will be paid all of the money that would have been paid to you if you had started receiving benefits on your protective filing date. Starting a new claim begins the entire process over, meaning that you could miss out on thousands of dollars worth of benefits by adjusting your protective filing date.

One reason many people file a new claim is that they have new medical evidence that they want considered that wasn't available to them when they initially filed their disability claim. However, it is not necessary to file a new claim to have new evidence considered. As a matter of fact, there is little point in appealing if you aren’t going to present at least some new evidence. The whole point of the appeals process is to allow you to gather more evidence of your disability and to present it to the Social Security Administration so that they can determine whether you qualify for disability benefits.

In short, you don’t gain anything by filing a completely new claim, but you do stand to lose a fair amount. The only exception is if you have gone beyond your time limit for filing an appeal and can’t get an extension granted. In such a case, consult a Social Security Disability lawyer regarding your best course of action.

If your disability claim has been denied, your first call should be to a Social Security Disability attorney. Often, they can figure out what piece of information the Social Security Administration still needs to see before they can approve your claim. By communicating directly with your doctor or other medical professionals, they can often ensure that the SSA forms are filled out in a way that better addresses the questions and concerns addressed before the claim can be approved.

Having the guidance of a Social Security Disability attorney dramatically improves your chances of success at the every level of the Social Security disability claims and appeals process. While it is especially important to have an attorney with you at your hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, having legal representation can also save you from having to go that far into the appeals process in the first place.

If your disability claim has been turned down for any reason, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a legitimate claim or that you can’t win. Your best chance is to work through the appeals process, presenting any new evidence that you may have obtained, preferably with the help of a Social Security Disability lawyer. Don’t give up several months’ worth of back pay when it’s more likely to result in approval when you go through the appeals process.