Can I reopen my Social Security Disability Case?

reopen social security disability case

If your Social Security Disability case has been denied, the next step is usually to appeal that decision.

However, what if you have MISSED your deadline to appeal and the decision on your case is clearly incorrect?

Generally, if you have missed your deadline to appeal, your only option is to re-apply for benefits and start the entire process again. Starting the process over again will result in your potential backpay being greatly diminished, and you may have to endure the entire process of application/reconsideration/appeal before you are able to receive the benefits that you may be entitled to.   It is almost always BEST to appeal any unfavorable decision BEFORE the deadline!

However, there are some situations when the Social Security Administration may agree to “reopen” your case even if you have missed your deadline to appeal.

See the following Social Security Administration guidelines for re-opening a case:

Rules for Reopening

Generally, a determination or decision may be reopened and revised only when:

  • The determination or decision was incorrect when made; and
  • The time limits and conditions for reopening described in DI 27505.001A.1. – DI 27505.001A.4. are met.

A determination or decision, which may have appeared to be correct based on the available evidence at the time it was made, may be reopened if it is later shown to have been incorrect.

1-Year Reopening Rule (Title II and Title XVI)

A final determination may be reopened within 1 year from the date of notice of the initial determination “for any reason.” However, reopening within 12 months is not “automatic.” A request to reopen within 12 months can be denied if there is no reason to revise the prior determination or decision.

2-Year Reopening Rule (Title XVI)

A title XVI determination may be reopened within 2 years from the date of notice of the initial determination for “good cause.”

For more details on this SSA Rule, see POMS DI 27505.001 Conditions for Reopening a Final Determination or Decision.

Originally published: January 30, 2015 at

 Last updated: October 4, 2017 at 10:09 am

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