Effective July 28, 2011, the Social Security Administration changed its policy regarding the filing of subsequent applications for disability benefits. In 1999, SSA had in place a procedure which allowed for the filing of a new application for Social Security Disability benefits even though a prior application was on file. Under this procedure, the new application was processed by the disability determination service. SSA noted that it has “seen an increase in the number of subsequent disability claims in recent years”. As a consequence, SSA believes that some decisions have been inconsistent. SSA also believes that this duplicate filing has caused increased administrative costs and higher workloads.
The new procedure does not allow for the filing of two claims for the same type of benefits pending at the same time. If the claimant wishes to file a new disability claim for the same matter and that same matter is pending at any level within the Social Security administrative system, then the claimant must either withdraw the prior claim in order to file a new one or not file a new claim and simply stand on the prior claim. This policy does not change SSA’s policy where an appeal in pending in federal court. In those cases, the claimant may file a new application while the court case is pending.