Just because you previously lost a Social Security Disability case, does not mean that you cannot get benefits now.
Many individuals file for social security disability, go through the disability process, end up having a hearing in front of a judge and are then denied benefits. However, if your medical condition has worsened since that time you may now be entitled to benefits. Further, even if you have simply crossed the age barriers of 50 or 55 you may now be entitled to benefits regardless of whether your health has worsened.
If a disability client loses a case in front of a judge, and is not successful on an appeal, the case becomes “final.” This is a legal concept called res judicata. It is meant to prevent re-litigation of issues that have already been decided. Social Security provides guidance on this topic at https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/rulings/ar/06/AR98-04-ar-06.html. But a case is only final as of the point in time that the judge’s decision was made.
Many of our clients are successful in reapplying for disability on a new claim even after they were previously denied by a judge. Perhaps new medical testing was performed showing that your medical condition is worse than previously thought. Perhaps mental health counseling was undertaken providing new evidence of the severity of your psychological symptoms. Perhaps a new medical condition is diagnosed. It goes on. There are many reasons that you should not assume that you cannot get benefits just because you previously lost.
Did you know that, in some cases, a judge’s previous denial can even help you get benefits on a new claim? Because of the GRID Regulations, more fully discussed elsewhere on our website at https://www.sgsdisability.com/disability-applications/, a denial from before age 50 can sometimes help prove disability after age 50. Similarly, a denial before age 55 can help to prove disability after age 55. This is because the law changes as the disability claimant ages. If a Judge found that you can only do sedentary work and that you cannot return to your prior work when you were 48, when you turn 50, this same finding will support entitlement to benefits. Likewise, a judge’s finding that you can only do light work without being able to do your past work at age 54 can be used to obtain disability upon a new application after you turn 55.
If you were denied SSDI in the past, even if it was by a judge, you should not assume that you cannot get disability now. Likely you have acquired new medical testing, treatment, diagnoses, or just better documentation of your symptoms. In addition, you may have simply just passed the age 50 or 55 barriers under Social Security’s GRID Regulations.
Give us a call if you would like our disability lawyers to help you in applying for disability benefits. We are happy to offer free consultations by phone, and we don’t charge anything unless we help you win benefits.