Being denied Social Security disability benefits can be a serious blow; you need those benefits, and there is nothing easy about compiling an application. What’s even worse than being denied Social Security disability benefits, though, is being denied benefits twice or more. However, if your claim has been denied before and you are filing for benefits a second (or subsequent) time, the fact that you’ve faced denial in the past may actually hurt–not help–your case. Here’s a look at what you need to know.
When Are You Applying?
One important consideration if you are applying for benefits a secondary or subsequent time is the when of your application, as well as what’s going on with your primary application. This is because the Program Operations Manual System (POMS) published by the Social Security Administration specifically instructs those processing claims as such: “Do not accept or process a new disability application if the applicant has a prior disability claim for the same title and benefit type pending…” This means that is it very important that you know that your primary claim must be completely finished with before you file a second claim. If you are appealing your first application, do not file a second claim.
Does Your Second Application Include All Necessary Information?
A second important consideration if you are filing a secondary or subsequent claim for disability benefits is whether or not your second application includes all information that is necessary for your claim, and which was lacking from your prior claim (hence the reason for the denial). For example, if you were denied because your original claim lacked the inclusion of hard medical evidence that provided the Social Security Administration with information about the existence of your impairment and its severity, you must include this evidence when filing again.
Keep in mind that if you were denied for other reasons–such as the fact that you do not meet the basic non-medical requirements (like having paid into Social Security Disability Insurance or making too much money to qualify for Supplemental Security Income) or medical requirements, if you won’t follow your doctor’s prescribed treatment, or if your disability is self-inflicted (i.e. alcohol use)–it is very unlikely that your claim will be approved, regardless of how many times you file.
Before You Apply Again, Consider Your Options
It is foolish to assume that if you have already applied for Social Security disability benefits and have been denied, filing for benefits a second time will improve the odds of your application being approved. Instead of immediately applying again, you should weigh your options. What would be better, appealing a denied claim, trying to get a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), or filing a second time and making sure your second claim contains all the evidence and information that the Social Security Administration needs to approve your claim? Because there are multiple options available, we strongly recommend consulting with an Illinois Social Security disability lawyer, who can look at the reason your claim was originally denied and help you take action to remedy the denial.