Q: Several years ago I filed for Social Security disability benefits, was denied, and returned to work for a short while afterwards before stopping again. Can I file a new application for disability?
A: Yes, you can.The new application would have to use a medical onset date, meaning the date when the disability began, that was after the timeframe covered by your earlier application. More importantly, you would again need to have enough work at the right time to be insured for disability. If the work requirement is met, applications receive a medical decision. If not met, the application does not go forward. It would be denied without a medical decision being made.
If you need to file for disability, do so without worrying whether you have enough work. File the claim. Social Security will determine if you are insured. Whether concerning insured status or a medical determination, appeal rights exist if you disagree with the application decision.
Consider filing your application for Social Security disability online. Everything from the disability application to the medical background information and medical releases can now be completed online without an appointment, at any time of day. In addition, you can leave the application materials and return to them later with a provided reentry number. Online applications are reviewed in your local office and you are contacted if there are questions.
Whether using the online application or not, learn what you can expect to be asked at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ssa-16.html.
Social Security also works with the separate, need based, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program which does not have a work requirement. Depending on your income, resources and living arrangements, you might also file application for SSI.