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New Social Security Regulation in Effect

On July 28, 2011, the Social Security Administration announced, and made effective, a new ruling, S.S.R. 11-1p, listing the procedures for handling requests to file subsequent applications for disability benefits. Prior to the new regulation, subsequent disability claims were permitted to be filed under the same title and same type already pending in their administrative review process.

Previously, for example, if an individual was in the process of appealing an Unfavorable decision, they were permitted to file a subsequent application for the same disability that the decision was ruled upon. However, the previous process resulted not only in an increase in subsequent disability claims, but also conflict in decisions, as well as improper payments, increased administrative costs, and unnecessary workloads stemming from duplication.

The new regulation, already in effect, has disallowed the ability to have two claims for the same type of benefits pending at the same time. If an individual is interested in filing a new disability claim under the same title and same type of disability as a claim that they already have pending at any level of administrative review, they will need to choose between pursuing the claim that is already being reviewed or declining to pursue further review in lieu of filing a new application.

The ruling explains, "If you decide to pursue your administrative review rights on the pending disability claim, we will not accept your subsequent application for benefits under the same title and for the same type of benefit as the pending claim. Although we will not accept your subsequent application while your prior disability claim is pending administrative review, you can still provide us with evidence that is relevant to your pending claim, in accordance with our existing regulations and procedures. Our technological improvements, such as Electronic Records Express and electronic alerts and messages, enable our offices to communicate with one another faster and more efficiently and act on additional evidence promptly. If the additional evidence indicates a critical or dire need situation, we will act expeditiously."

If you're a client, and have any questions or concerns regarding the new Social Security Regulation, feel free to give us a call!

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