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Should You Appeal Or Reapply When Your SSDI Is Denied?

When the Social Security Administration (SSA) denies your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) application, you have the right to appeal or reapply. If you believe you are entitled to the SSDI, you should do everything you can to get it. What is the best course of action for you—appeal or reapply?

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Appealing

Appealing is the most common choice among people who apply for an SSDI.

Get Higher Back pay

Applying for an SSDI takes time, as will re-applying and appealing. However, one of the benefits of appealing is that you will likely get higher back pay. This is because the SSA will compute the back pay based on the date of your application. If you re-apply, the SSA will compute from the date of your re-application, thereby reducing your back pay. In contrast, appealing your case will allow you to retain the correct amount for your back pay.

Most Cases Are Won At An ALJ Hearing

There are four levels of appeal—reconsideration, hearing by an administrative law judge (ALJ), review by the Appeals Council, and Federal Court review. If you request an ALJ hearing, you can hire a social security lawyer to work toward strengthening your case. During the hearing, you can convince the judge that the denial was incorrect.

New Medical Evidence Will Be Considered

Strong evidence is necessary to get an SSDI. Even though you are only appealing your case, you can still submit additional medical evidence, such as medical records, statements from your physician, or any new evidence that shows your disability. These will be considered as part of your total records if they are dated on or before the date of your hearing.

With all that said, there are a few disadvantages to appealing that you should also take into consideration:

Time Consuming Process

The appeals process takes a lot of time, and it requires a lot of effort. On average, the appeals process takes over 300 days, so be ready.

There Is A Time Limit

The SSA is very strict with the appeals process. You can file an appeal only within 60 days after the release of the first decision. This means you have only less than 2 months to prepare your appeal—fill in forms, find a lawyer, get new medical evidence, and so on. If you exceed the 60-day deadline you will have to re-apply unless you can show a legitimate reason for missing the said deadline.

New Medical Evidence May Not Be Allowed

You have to be able to submit all your medical evidence on or before the hearing date because they will not be considered if they are dated after the hearing date.

Advantages And Disadvantages of Reapplying

Another option is to reapply for Social Security Disability Insurance. This affords you a few benefits:

There Is No Deadline

There is no deadline as to when you can reapply for SSDI. You can do this if you simply missed the deadline. You may also reapply a year or four years after the denial.

It May Be Faster

If your original application or your appeal was denied by the ALJ, you may escalate it to the Appeals Court, but this process will take even longer than 300 days. If you prefer a faster process, reapplying may be a better choice.

Re-do Your Application

You don’t have to worry about your previous denial affecting your new application. You can submit completely new evidence you think would strengthen your case. This is especially true if you have new medical evidence that was not available originally.

However, there are some caveats when you reapply after getting denied:

You May Become A Serial Disability Applicant

Although there is no limit to reapplying for SSDI, if you have more than four consequent applications, the examiner or judge may label you as a “serial disability applicant,” which may imprint a negative impression on your credibility.

You Need A Good Reason To Reapply

To increase your chances of getting approved from reapplication, you should have a strong reason for doing so. You should have new and material evidence to present, such as if you now have access to healthcare or if your medical condition or disability has worsened.

Make The Right Decision

The right choice after getting your SSDI application denied varies from case to case. The best way to ensure you make the right choice is by consulting with an experienced Port Charlotte social security lawyer who can help you prepare and increase your chances of getting approved.

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