Can I Apply For Social Security Disability Again?

Q: Can I apply for Social Security disability again if previously denied?

A: Yes, you can.

Before doing so, consider if your situation has changed from your original application. Social Security disability has both work and medical requirements. If the previous application was denied because you did not meet the work requirements, then your medical condition was not part of the decision. Unless your work history has changed, a new application will probably have the same results. If the prior decision was that you did not meet the medical requirements, again what has changed so that you might now meet them? You can file a new application if desired.

Social Security has a strict definition of disability based on inability to work. In summary, you cannot do the work you did before, cannot be expected to adjust to other work because of your health, and your injury or illness has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or result in death.

The Social Security disability homepage links to a Disability Planner section for more about filing for benefits. If you file, the entire application can be completed online.

You can also file again for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a separate, income based program for disabled adults and children, or people age 65 and older, who meet financial income and resource limits. SSI financial limits must be met before other requirements are considered. There is no work requirement. For adults, SSI uses the same strict definition of disability used for Social Security. The SSI application is not online.

Before filing a new SSI application, consider if your situation has changed from the original application. If an SSI disability application was denied for financial or other non-medical reason, then your medical condition was not part of the decision. Unless there has been a change in your situation, you will probably have the same results as before. You can file a new application if desired.

Remember that both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) have an appeal process for people to question a decision that they did not agree with. If a denied application is within the appeals period stated in the decision letter, you can keep that application in progress by filing an appeal. Doing this is usually better than filing a completely new application. If you let the appeals period end, a new application can be filed.

For both programs, appeal of a medical decision can be requested online. To do this, follow the “Appeal Our Recent Medical Decision” link from the Social Security disability or SSI homepages. For appeal of other issues, contact Social Security.