There are various reasons why your social security disability (“SSD”) claim may be denied. When you receive a denial letter, you have the right to appeal the denial.
When you appeal the denial, you will eventually have an appeal hearing. At the hearing, you have an opportunity to present testimony and evidence to make your case that you qualify for SSD.
The answer depends on your circumstances
While an appeal is always an option after a denial, you can also file a new SSD claim. Whether appealing or filing a new claim is the better choice depends on the facts of your specific situation.
There are no limits to the amount of times you can apply for SSD benefits; however, this does not necessarily mean that you should keep applying.
Appealing is usually your best option, unless you have a new medical condition, or something has changed about your current medical condition since your last application.
For example, if there have been no changes to your health or medical condition since you initially applied for SSD, appealing might be the better choice.
An appeal hearing is held before an administrative law judge (“ALJ”). Your testimony and evidence at an appeal hearing can potentially give the ALJ a better understanding of your condition and why you qualify for SSD benefits.
Filing a new claim
However, if your disability has changed or worsened, or you have developed new health issues since your application, simply filing a new one could give you a better chance of success.
Additionally, the appeal process can be lengthy. Your appeal hearing might not be scheduled for weeks or months after you file your appeal.
The ALJ will not issue a decision at your appeal hearing. Rather, you will have to wait to receive a written decision. Filing a new claim for benefits could result in you receiving your benefits sooner.
Understanding what the best option is after a denial can be difficult, but you have legal rights. Talking over your situation with a legal professional can help you determine the best next steps.