Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sixty Days before you Can Reapply for Disability?

Some of the things you come across are absolutely fascinating. I've heard a lot of myths from claimants regarding social security disability and SSI, but here's one from Colorado Attorney Tom Stasiuk that I've never heard before (Tom Stasiuk's blog is listed on my blogroll and I recommend it). As Tom states, a number of his clients report to him that someone at social security has advised that, if they want to appeal their denial, they need to wait sixty days bfore starting a new claim.

Frankly, I'm not surprised. I've said for years that the SRs (service reps) and CRs (claims reps) that work in social security field offices do a very poor job of communicating the requirements of social security disability and SSI criteria.

My own spouse (also a former disability examiner) works in a field office as a CR and promptly defends her fellow workers when I say such things. But...I've been involved in too many situations where it was obvious to me that the claimant was either misinformed or under-informed by SSA regarding application and appeal procedures.

To address the issue, however, a claimant has sixty days in which to file an appeal. This is sixty days from the date of the denial, which should be stamped in the upper right hand corner of the denial letter. Of course, social security never informs claimants that they actually have sixty-five days since an additional five days are given for mailing time.

The sixty-five day period appeals to all appeals that may be filed following a denial, which include (but are not limited to):

1. The Request for Reconsideration - filed after the denial of a disability application.

2. The Request for Hearing before an Administrative law judge - filed following the denial of a request for reconsideration.

Now what are some other social security disability and SSI myths? Some of the more notable ones are as follows:

1. They always deny a claim for disability the first time you apply. Is that true. Well, in actuality, roughly 70 percent of initial claims are denied nationwide (inital claims = disability applications). So, while most claims are initially denied, obviously not all are.

2. You can't win disability without a disability attorney. Well, a disability representative (of the attorney or non-attorney variety) can certainly make a difference in one's chances of being awarded disability benefits. However, the majority of individuals who win disability benefits at the initial claim level (30 percent of applications) or after a request for reconsideration has been filed (15 percent of reconsideration appeals)...are probably not represented. So, obviously, you don't need an attorney to win disability. However, it would, in general terms be foolish to go to a disability hearing with an administrative law judge without the benefit of representation. And, in fact, my own opinion is that it isn't a bad idea to get representation after the denial of a disability application. After all, the next step is the reconsideration and only 15 of every 100 reconsideration appeals get approved.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

Prior Posts

Applied for disability - what comes next
Advice for Surviving Financially While Waiting for Social Security Disability or SSI
Social Security Disability Hearing, Vocational Expert, Judge
Will you need an attorney for disability if you have a mental condition ?
Applied for Social Security disability, haven't heard anything, should I be worried ?
Does obesity make you eligible for disability benefits from Social Security ?


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