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Filing Subsequent Disability Claims

In previous years, the Social Security Administration permitted subsequent claims, however; when two claims are pending at the same time there is much room for conflicting decisions. Subsequent claims may result in improper payments, increased administrative costs, and increased workloads stemming from duplication. Therefore, in 2011 the Administration decided that claimants will no longer be allowed to have two claims for the same type of benefits pending at the same time. Claimants have to choose between continuing the existing claim and starting a brand new claim when a decision is rendered less than fully favorable after an administrative law judge hearing.

Under the old law, you could appeal a decision to the Appeals Council and file a new claim for benefits at the same time. Under the new law, you must choose between an appeal and a new application if you are eligible to do so. But just as all rulings seem to have exceptions, this ruling is no different. The following items are exceptions to this rule:

  • If your current claim pending at the Appeals Council (AC) is for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) only and you are now eligible to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you may file a new application for SSI benefits while your SSDI claim is still pending at the AC and vice versa.
  • If you have medical evidence of a new impairment, not previously present and addressed at your administrative law judge hearing, you may be able to file a new application for benefits based on this new impairment.

A common question amongst claimants is whether you can submit medical evidence to the AC since you can no longer file a subsequent claim. The answer is yes, however; the AC will make a decision on whether or not to include the evidence in their review. The following list addresses this issue:

  • If the medical evidence relates to the period of time on or before your hearing, they AC will review it.
  • If the medical evidence shows a diagnosis for symptoms present on or before your hearing, the AC will consider the evidence new and material and will review it.
  • If the medical evidence shows dire need, the AC may expedite their review.

If the AC does not feel your medical evidence is new and material, you will receive notice as to the reason they did not review it, however; you will also receive notice if the AC feels that the new evidence is just cause to file a subsequent claim while your pending claim is still being reviewed.

Subsequent claims have their pros and cons, however, you should note that regardless of this new ruling, claimants are still permitted to file new applications if their current claim is pending at Federal District Court. If you have questions on whether you are eligible to file a subsequent claim or questions regarding this ruling, please contact one of our representatives at 1-877-526-3457. If you would rather speak to someone at a later time, fill this form out now.

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Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law
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