Answer: It depends.
If your claim for benefits is denied, there are decisions you must make and some critically important issues you must keep in mind. Your first decision is whether you are better off appealing the denial or starting over with a new application. Many people, without consulting an attorney, decide to do neither, and hold off on filing an appeal until it is too late, or file a new claim again years later. However, if that is done, in general, you can lose out on the money from the period of time covered by the original case. In some instances, if your insured status has expired, you may not be able to file again at all (see “Don’t Get Tripped Up By “Date Last Insured”.
“Each person’s situation is different and there may be good reasons to appeal, or good reasons to file a new application later,” says Nash attorney Demetra Geller. “Social Security Disability law is complex. An experienced disability attorney can explain the pros and cons of each approach for your specific situation and help you select the best path forward. Regardless of which path you choose, you can’t leave it to chance that somehow everything will work out. All too often we see disability claimants miss out on benefits they badly need and have rightfully earned because they don’t follow through.”
A common mistake is losing track of paperwork, forms, and deadlines, and then trying to appeal after the due date, or file a new claim after their date last insured. Read and securely file every letter or notice that you get from Social Security. Respond to all Social Security Administration (SSA) requests for information. Pay attention to all deadlines. For example, if your initial disability claim is denied you have 60 days to file an appeal. “Unfortunately, we have had too many clients miss this deadline due to a lack of attention, and they have had to reapply to continue their pursuit of benefits,” Geller observes. “Some of them believe that the SSA bureaucracy will be sympathetic to their condition and make an exception in their case, but in too many cases, that does not happen, and the claimant is penalized.”
If you have a disability, are unable to work and are considering filing for disability benefits, or if you have been turned down for disability benefits call or email the Chicago Social Security Lawyers at Nash Disability Law today for a free consultation. (To learn the advantages of a local disability lawyer, click here.)