Appeal or File a New Application? As of July 28, 2011 Social Security will no longer allow a claimant to appeal a hearing decision to the Appeals Council and file a new application. SSR11-1p This minor change in policy actually has a serious effect upon claimants as the Appeals Council often takes an extraordinary amount of time to review a case. If you receive an unfavorable decision from a judge you now have to choose whether to appeal or file a new application. If you appeal and are denied then you can look at filing in Federal Court. You can put in a new application while you case is on appeal in Federal Court. If you put in a new application, you will very likely close off the potential for the back due benefits that were part of your old claim. This can often be a major and potentially very costly decision. You should consider the following: Do I have strong issues for appeal? Not just that you disagree with the judge but there are issues like favorable medical evidence that was not considered, or witness testimony that was not addressed. Is there a lack of medical treatment that I can change going forward? The judge begins their analysis of your case by looking at the medical records. If your claim for benefits cover years that you did not receive medical treatment, that is a very hard issue to appeal. Which is likely to be the longer wait? It can take up to two years or more to get a hearing. It is difficult to predict how long a case will be at the Appeals Council before you receive an answer and if is not favorable your Federal Court appeal is not assured of a favorable result. Each case is different and will have a different path that is best for that person.
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