Your Prior Applications Can Be Reopened Under Certain Conditions to Maximize Your Benefits

What if I let an old application lapse or failed to appeal a denial on another application? Can I reopen my old claim?

Social Security allows you to re-file your application for benefits over and over. Even if you have filed before and been turned down, or if you let an old application lapse, you can always re-file your application for benefits unless you have a current claim pending with SSA. However, filing a new application is not the same as appealing a denial of benefits. If you re-file rather than appeal, you may not be entitled to the same amount of benefits, and in some cases you may be totally barred from receiving benefits. Your attorney can assist you in appealing your denials some you don’t lose benefits, and advise you whether you can reopen an old application so as to be eligible for a lump sum check for the entire time that you have been disabled.

Prior applications can often be reopened to establish an earlier entitlement to benefits. There are a variety of rules governing reopening of old applications and these rules differ for SSI and DIB claims, particularly as to the timing of reopening. For instance, a prior application can be reopened based on “good cause” if the new application is within 4 years of the initial denial on the prior application for Title II claims and within 2 years of the initial denial on the prior application for Title XVI claims. If your claim involves reopening a prior application, you should seek legal advice.