Thursday, June 21, 2012

Reopening Disability Applications

An application for disability benefits can be reopened for good cause. If a prior application is reopened, then the earlier filing date is used to calculate benefits, which can result in additional benefits being awarded.

I represent a claimant who became disabled on June 10, 2009. I filed her application for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits on June 28, 2011. While reviewing the claimant’s efolder, I learned that the claimant had filed an application on her own on December 8, 2009, which she had forgotten about. I made a motion to reopen that application.

Last month, I received a fully favorable decision for a Social Security Disability (“SSD”) application. However, that decision was not actually fully favorable because it did not address my motion to reopen. Therefore, I submitted a request that the decision be reopened and amended to address the prior application. Today, I received a reopened and revised decision to reflect the December 8, 2009 application date. As a result, the claimant will receive an additional 18 months of SSD benefits.

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