New Social Security Disability applications no longer accepted while a previous claim is pending

When an application for social security disability benefits was denied by an Administrative Law Judge, claimants were usually left with four options: (1) file a new claim, (2) appeal the Judge’s decision, (3) do nothing, or (4) appeal the Judge’s decision AND file a new claim. As of August 1, 2011, the last option above is no longer available to claimants.

As of August 1, 2011, Social Security offices will not accept new disability applications if the new application is for the same title and benefit for which a previous application is still pending at any level (initial, reconsideration, hearing or Appeals Council). Easily put, if there’s nothing new about your claim, you cannot file a new application.

There is an exception to this rule, however. If the original claim is pending appeal with the Appeals Council and the claimant has a new disabling condition AND that condition began after the Administrative Law Judge issued his decision, a new application may be permitted. The Appeals Council will evaluate the situation and determine if the field office may accept the new application.

This change does not affect new applications if the new application relates to a different title and/or benefit type, is made in connection with a Continuing Disability Review or age 18 redetermination, or if the appeal is either (a) in federal court or (b) was remanded from federal court to the hearing office or the Appeals Council.

Attorney Jennifer J. Allen is an associate attorney with Alan C. Olson & Associates, S.C. If you have any questions about Social Security Disability, please contact her at [email protected].


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