Life can throw a lot at you, especially when you’re learning to live with a new disability. A flood of forms and court dates can make it hard to keep up, and before you know it you’ve missed your appeal.

If the state denies your claim for Social Security Disability (SSD), you may not be out of options even if your window for appeals closes. When opening a new filing that is related to the same disability, you can tack on your old claim. This means you could receive back pay from the date of your first application.

Denying closure

A denial of SSD benefits isn’t uncommon. Benefits were only given to 33% of applicants between 2007 and 2016. Tennessee Disability Determination Services can deny your claim for a variety of reasons, and you’ll get an appeals window. If you miss that window, you can still revisit the request under certain circumstances:

  • Less than one year: You’ll have the easiest time reopening a claim within 12 months of your initial ruling. You can reopen your case for any reason.
  • Up to four years old: Things get a little trickier after your grace period ends. If there is a good reason to delve back in, like gaining new evidence or finding influential errors, your case might get a second look.
  • More than four years old: You’ll have a harder time threading the needle after four years. You can ask the state to reassess your claim with more specific and case-by-case reasons. Evidence of fraud, overturning a criminal conviction or an error in calculating your benefits could all get your case back on the docket.

Back that claim up

If your original claim gets the green light, you could be looking at back pay. While the date of the initial application often determines your retroactive sum, the date your disability began could net you a bit more time. Your payment typically comes in one big check, but you could be looking at several payments if you receive a sizable ruling.

Letting that appeals date slip by doesn’t mean you have to brave your disability alone. Reopening your claim can have some challenges, but you can still make sure you get the help you deserve.