I often hear the following question:
I just got my Social Security denial letter. Should I appeal or reapply?
While every case is different, based on my experiences handling Social Security claims in Colorado, I often find the you stand a better chance by appealing rather than re-applying.
If you reapply, your case may be reviewed by the same person who denied you the first time. Chances are they will not change their mind.
By appealing, you take the case out of the hands of the person who denied you, and put it in front of a fresh pair of eyes. Sometimes you can present the same case on appeal, and the fact that the new person does not have any preconceived notions about it, will allow them to approve your case.
Why would you ever want to reapply then? There are cases where a clean break from the prior evidence is a good thing. Sometimes, when I see the following in a case, I may encourage the person to reapply:
- Drug use or alcohol abuse.
- Incorrect evidence. A mistaken “fact” that keeps getting repeated over and over but cannot be disproven.
- Unhelpful doctor.
- A period of no treatment.
Of course, this is not a complete list. There can be other reasons which can suggest a new claim may be better than an appeal.
However, whenever considering dropping the old case, keep in mind that there are issues such as the date last insured which can prevent you from being able to reapply!