Pursuing appeal options subsequent to a denial of Social Security disability benefits requires an understanding of how the system works in general and why in particular the initial case was denied.
The general rule for filing an appeal is that the request must be received within 60 days of receipt of the denial letter the Social Security Administration sends to the claimant. This is true for either SSDI or SSI and at each of the four levels of appeal.
If an appeal is not made within the appropriate deadline and the denial becomes final, it may be possible for a Greensboro Social Security disability attorney to have the older claim reopened rather than file a completely separate new claim. This is often advantageous because the date of disability relates back to the filing date of the first claim, which can consequently allow for a larger back pay lump sum award. An option to reopen can be exercised for any reason within 12 months of a denial and may be granted within four years upon a showing of good cause.
Although the SSA has established standards that require its employees to treat an appeal or reopening as a new case, it is fully understood the case was previously denied. Nonetheless, the success of an appeal or reopening ultimately will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case. Issues that can be important in achieving an award of benefits after a denial include instances where a clear mistake was made by the SSA, situations where new medical advancements have created a better opportunity to diagnose and identify an impairment and cases where the claimant’s physical or mental condition has worsened. If nothing has changed since the initial denial, it is unreasonable to expect a different result.
Most applicants are initially denied disability benefits. If you are among that majority, it is important to understand your options. Begin with a call to the Bridgman Law Offices, a Greensboro Social Security disability attorney, at 704-815-6055.
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