Can a final decision or determination for SSD be reopened?

When a Missourian seeks benefits through Social Security disability and there is a denied claim that has become finalized, there might be a belief that the case is concluded and there is nothing more that can be done. However, even when the decision, revised decision, determination or revised determination is final, there is the chance that the Social Security Administration can reopen it and revise it. Understanding when this can take place is the first step for a person who is seeking SSD benefits to have the case reopened for a potentially better result.

The case can be reopened and revised by numerous entities including an Administrative Law Judge, the Appeals Council, the field office for Social Security or the reviewing office. There are time limitations and conditions that must be met for this to happen. The decision to reopen the case can be made by the SSA after it has gotten a request in writing from the applicant or others who are part of the case. Any decision with reopening or not reopening cannot be appealed.

When there is a reopening, it must be within one year from the date of the initial determination, after the one-year time limit but within two years from the date on the initial determination when there is good cause for it to be reopened or after one year but within four years from the date of initial determination should there be good cause. The title under which the person is applying will determine what time-frame is applicable. Good cause will be one of the following: if there is new evidence provided; if there was a clerical error; or if the evidence that was used to make the determination indicates that there was a clear error made.

If there is a justification for the reopening of a case that had previously been finalized, it is wise to have legal assistance from a law firm that specializes in helping clients with their Social Security disability benefits. People who have their final decision or determination come out in an unfavorable way might be under the impression that the case is over and they will not get disability benefits. There are cases in which the decision or the determination will be reopened, and it is important to consider this option.

Practice Areas

Military Law
Family Law
Social Security Disability
Worker’s Compensation
Personal Injury