Reopening a Social Security Disability Claim

Tallahassee, FL – Applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be a grueling process. Many will go through the process of filling out the abundance of documents, compiling their medical records, and then waiting and stressing about their upcoming decision – all while suffering from debilitating medical conditions. After waiting several months, many also receive a message in the mail from Social Security telling them that there is not enough evidence to support their disability. Often times, these people will simply give up on their claim and only return to try again after years have gone by and their conditions have worsened. They assume that they will have to start a new claim and begin the long and arduous process all over again. However, this is not always the case.

As a social security law firm, when people visit our Tallahassee office after the denial of a social security disability application, we consider whether reopening the application is a viable option.  If it has been less than four years since you were last denied, there is a chance that, with an experienced lawyer to guide you through the process, you may be able to reopen your pre-existing claim. This is the best case scenario as you will be able to allege the original onset date and collect more in benefits when you are awarded. To do this, you will need one of three things:

  • Reopening a claim within one year: “For any reason” – A claim may be reopened within one year of the original determination so long as it is presented with a reason for reopening, such as new medical evidence.
  • Reopening a case after two years: “Good cause” – there may have been a clerical error on the part of the Social Security Administration in the filing of your previous claim, one that erroneously led to your denial letter. There may have also been an absence of medical documentation which, if provided at the time, would have conceivably led to a more favorable decision. Or, in the medical evidence provided it clearly shows that a mistake was made.
  • Reopen a claim: Approval by a member of SSA or DDS – In order to reopen a claim, you must receive a lawful statement from an authorized component of the Social Security Administration or from Disability Determination Services questioning the correctness of the determination. It is very important to achieve this step. If you are denied at this point your claim cannot be appealed, meaning you will have to begin another initial application and your original onset date will become invalid.

You will only have one chance to appeal your original claim and it is important that you hire an attorney that you trust in order to get this process right. Attorney Matt Liebenhaut will be able to alleviate the stress of this process. It is our mission here at the Law Office of Matt Liebenhaut to protect your rights in this especially difficult time. We will compile the necessary documents and give you the best chance at receiving your disability benefits so that you can focus on what really matters: feeling better. Call today for a free case evaluation from a Tallahassee Social Security lawyer.