To limit the spread of the Coronavirus we are asking you not to visit our offices. We want to keep our business open and keep working on your case. We can't do that if we are sick. So please do not visit our office building. If you need to speak to us, call us or contact us on this website's contact page. Thank you for your understanding.

Close Menu


Reopening a prior application is sometimes possible in disability cases. It is not easy to reopen a prior application. However, if you let an old application lapse and did not appeal it within the proper time frame, you may be able to reopen your old application. There are limits on reopening prior applications. But, it is a great tool for the claimant. Especially, because reopening an old application would get more past disability benefits.

Many people file an application for Social Security Disability benefits more than once. Sometimes, people file an application and don’t appeal a denial because they think they are going to return to work.  Likewise, people miss the 60-day deadline to file an appeal. For whatever reason, the SSA tells them they need to file a new application.


If you have filed more than one application, you may be able to reopen your old application. This is especially true if you have filed two or three times within a two year period. You have the right to ask for a “reopening” of your prior application.  The law states that a prior application can be reopened for any reason within a 12 month period.

“An administrative law judge (ALJ) has the authority to reopen an initial, revised or reconsidered determination, or a hearing decision or revised hearing decision under title II or title XVI of the Social Security Act for any reason within 12 months from the date of the notice of the initial determination (see 20 CFR 404.988(a) and 416.1488(a)).”

In order to get a prior application reopened, so you can obtain all of you back benefits, you need to ask the ALJ to reopen it at your hearing.  Additionally, you typically need a reason to request reopening.  It could be a simple reason, such as you missed the deadline to appeal because you were in the hospital. Or, perhaps you did not receive your mail because you moved.  You may have a mental illness that prevented you from understanding your rights or you may have been trying to gather all of your medical records before submitting your appeal.

social security benefits application for Utah, Nevada, Callifornia, Idaho


As long as you have a reason, the ALJ must consider a reopening request that is within 12 months initial determination date.  The rules do not require an ALJ to automatically reopen a previous determination, even if it is within 12 months. But, the ALJ cannot automatically deny a request to reopen a prior application.  If the ALJ reopens a prior application, it should result in you receiving a larger back benefit amount. In other words, you will receive all of the past due benefits to since your first application.

If you have questions about reopening an old application, you should contact our office. The attorneys at Cannon Disability Law can explain how to reopen your previous application. For instance, we can determine if your claims are eligible for reopening, even if you have more than one past application. We consider it our job to win benefits on your current application. At the same time, we will attempt to reopen any past applications for  you. We have considerable experience winning disability cases.


The following are required before a determination or decision may be reopened:

  1. a. An administratively final determination or decision of disability as defined in (DI 27501.001A.3) (may be an initial claim or a continuing disability review (CDR) determination or decision), and
  2. b. Reason to consider reopening (e.g., new and material evidence), and
  3. c. A timely written statement by a party to the determination or decision indicating disagreement with the correctness of a final determination or decision, or
  4. d. A timely written statement (affirmative action in writing) by an authorized component of SSA or Disability Determinations Services, questioning the correctness of a prior determination or decision.

social security disability and back pain


Cannon Disability Law has over 30 years of legal experience. During that time, our SSI & SSD Law firm has won over 20,000 disability claims for our clients. Also, we bring over 60 years of combined legal experience to your disability case. For instance, Dianna Cannon has been representing people with disabilities for over thirty years. Brett Bunkall and Andria Summers also have many years of litigation experience.

It doesn’t cost any money upfront to hire our law firm. We represent our clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that if you don’t win your case, you do not pay an attorney fee. If we do win your case, which is what we are working for, you will owe 25% of your back benefit in attorney fees. Additionally, our attorney fee is capped at $6000. We charge whatever is less. Either 25% of the back due fee or a maximum of $6000, whatever is less. That means we can never charge more than $6000 in attorney fees for winning your case at the hearing level or prior to it. Again, if we do not win your case, you will not owe an attorney fee.

We will use our skills to help you through the disability process. Our attorneys and paralegals will help you apply for benefits and appeal any SSA denials. Also, we will make sure you do not miss any appeal deadlines. It is our goal to win your case. But, it also our goal to make it easier for you. We offer a free consultation. There is no obligation to become a client if you call. You can simply ask questions. We will answer. You can trust that we will do everything we can to win your benefits. Contact Cannon Disability Law today for your free consultation.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Contact Form Tab

Quick Contact Form