The Social Security Administration issued Social Security Ruling (SSR) 11-1p prohibiting the filing of a subsequent application for disability benefits while an appeal is pending. New POMS (Program Operations Manuals Systems) have followed. The POMS generally state that a new disability application will not be accepted if a claimant has a prior claim for the same title and benefit type pending at any level of administrative review. There are exceptions to this ruling, however. A new claim may be filed if it is a claim for the same title, but for a different type; a claim for a continuing disability review; a claim for an age 18 redetermination; or a claim that was already in Federal court or was remanded from court. SSR 11-1p also will not apply if the subsequent claim was filed prior to July 28, 2011.
SSR 11-1p also makes clear that a concurrent claim, whereon an Administrative Law Judge issued a decision, cannot be bifurcated. For example, a claim for Title II benefits cannot be appealed while a new Title XVI application is filed. However, if additional evidence is submitted that does not relate to the period on or before the date of the ALJ decision and shows a “new critical or disabling condition,” then a claimant may file a new application while a claim is pending at the Appeals Council. The Appeals Council may permit the filing of that new application before it completes its review.
Generally, SSR 11-1p and the following POMS require field office personnel to explain to the claimant that s/he cannot have two claims pending; the claimant must choose between filing a new claim or appealing the old.
We think this new rule puts claimants at a strong disadvantage because they are forced to make a decision that is often difficult and that can have real consequences for themselves and their family. An experienced Social Security disability attorney can help walk you through this process.