Many of the people who apply for Social Security Disability benefits are denied at the initial stage of the application process. In fact, it is estimated that only thirty percent of applications are actually approved at the initial application stage.
On account of this, the majority of Social Security Disability applicants are left either appealing the Social Security Administration's decision to deny benefits. Some find it best to reapply for disability benefits after appealing.
How does a previous Social Security Disability claim affect future Social Security Disability applications? Are you more likely to be approved through a new disability application than you are during the appeal process?
The following information will help you understand how re-applying for disability affects your chances of actually receiving benefits from the SSA.
First, it is important to understand that re-applying for Social Security Disability benefits is never a sound alternative to filing an appeal unless there was substantial information missing from your initial disability application.
When you re-apply for disability benefits the same office that reviewed your file the first time will be reviewing your file again. If nothing has changed, chances are almost 100-percent that your initial application will once again be denied.
On the other hand, if your Social Security Disability application was missing substantial medical evidence proving your disability or if your condition has significantly worsened since the time of your initial application, re-applying may actually be wiser than filing an appeal.
The reason for this is that the initial stage of the Social Security Disability application process takes about 90 to 120 days to complete. Obtaining a hearing date before an administrative law judge, however, can take years.
Because of this, if you have new medical evidence proving your Social Security Disability case, you may just want to re-apply for Social Security Disability benefits rather than waiting more than a year to take your case before an administrative law judge.
Re-Applying and Re-Applying Over and Over Again
Many individuals make the mistake of re-applying for Social Security Disability benefits rather than filing an appeal for a denied disability claim. These individuals hope that a new application will be successful and that they will not need to go on to the appeals stage of the disability application process.
If you are filing the same application over and over again, the efforts will usually be in vain. If you were denied benefits once, you will likely be denied over and over again no matter how many times you re-apply.
When an examiner approves or denies a claim for Social Security Disability benefits they are not doing so based on personal preferences or opinions. There are specific guidelines that each examiner must follow when processing a disability claim.
If you apply for benefits and are denied, you will be denied again and again no matter how many times you apply if none of the information in your application is changing. If you hope to win your disability case without any new medical evidence, you will have to go on to file an appeal and have your case heard before an administrative law judge.
Do Previous Social Security Disability Applications Hurt Future Claims?
While a previous application for benefits may not actually hurt your chances of approval on a future disability claim, if an examiner sees that you are re-applying over and over again without submitting any further evidence with each application, your Social Security Disability application will not be approved.
If, on the other hand, your condition is significantly worse and new evidence is submitted along with your Social Security Disability application, that new evidence will be taken into account when the Social Security Administration is reviewing your claim for Social Security Disability benefits.
If you have been re-applying for benefits rather than appealing a decision due to the fact that you are uncomfortable with the appeal process, you may want to consider hiring a Social Security Disability attorney to represent you in your disability case.
Your chances of winning an appeal at the hearing stage of the disability appeal process are actually much greater than winning a case based on a new Social Security Disability application.
While two-thirds of initial Social Security Disability applications are denied, two-thirds of cases heard by administrative law judges during the appeal process are approved.
A qualified attorney can help you through the appeal process and can increase your chances of filing a successful disability appeal.