If you had a disability hearing before an Administrative Law Judge and received an unfavorable decision, you may file a request for review with the Appeals Council within 60 days from the date of the decision. The Appeals Council reviews the case and decides if the hearing decision was correct or whether to review your case. If the Appeals Council decides to review your case, it will either decide your case or return it to the same Judge that heard your case. In situations where the Appeals Council decides not to review your case, you can pursue it further by filing a civil suit in federal district court. This blog will focus on a recent ruling by Social Security eliminating the right to simultaneously file a request for review with the Appeals Council and file a new claim—Rule 11-1p.
Before this rule (11-1p) became effective, if you were denied by a Judge, you were able to file both a request for review with the Appeals Council and at the same time file a new claim (initial application). Sometimes, new claims were approved and claimants would receive their social security benefits while the prior case was pending review with the Appeals Council. Other times, if the Appeals Council remanded the case, this resulted in the new claim and the old claim being consolidated and heard before the Judge. However, this is no longer the case.
As a result of the economic downturn, social security has experienced an increase in the number of Social Security cases filed. According to the social security administration, in order to make efficient use of their limited resources in handling claims, they have eliminated the right to file a new application while an appeal on a prior claim is pending with the Appeals Council.
But this new regulations is troublesome because if you want to file a new disability claim under the same title and of the same type as a disability claim pending administrative review, you will have to choose between pursuing a review on the pending disability claim or declining to pursue further review and filing an entirely new application. You are no longer able to do both. They have carved out a few exceptions which include:
- Allegation of a new critical or disabling condition with an onset after the hearing date;
- There’s additional evidence of a new critical or disabling condition with an onset after the date of the hearing; and the claimant wants to file a new disability application based on this evidence; and
- The Appeals Counsel agrees the claimant should file a new application before action on the request for review is complete.
Due to recent changes with Social Security, a person must now choose one or the other but no longer allowed to have two claims for the same type of benefits pending at the same time.
It is worth mentioning that this new ruling does not apply to cases pending in Federal Court.