Saturday, December 20, 2008

Prior Applications

Just because you receive a “Fully Favorable” decision from the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) doesn’t mean that you will receive all the Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits to which you may be entitled. There are countless possible mistakes that a decision may contain. It is important to read a decision carefully, even when it is labeled “Fully Favorable”.

In January, I filed an application for SSD benefits for a 53 year old who last worked December 31, 2001. Even though it is very difficult for a claimant to establish the onset of a disability when it is many years prior to the filing date, I was able to get the claimant’s SSD application without a hearing.

When I read the fully favorable decision it found that the claimant became disabled December 31, 2001, and approved benefits based on the January 2008 application. However, I advised the SSA that the claimant filed prior application in February 2006 before retaining me, which alleged the same disability onset date. I also provided the SSA with the written request that I had made to reopen the prior application.

Today I received a “Reopened and Revised” Decision that awarded SSD benefits based upon the February 2006 application. The result is that the claimant will receive 23 months, nearly two years, of additional benefits

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