Whether you can pursue a claim now will depend on a lot of things. You should talk to a Social Security lawyer to make sure you protect your rights. Your lawyer may also have to get your previous application reopened.
Please let me know if I can answer any additional questions by posting here or by providing more details offline. I wish you the best with your claim.
Timothy M. Klob
Klob Law Firm
Provision of information in response to this question does not create an attorney-client relationship and the questioner is encouraged to seek and retain legal counsel in order to discuss their question(s) further and directly with legal counsel. Respondent is licensed to practice law in Georgia before all Georgia courts for non-Federal matters with a primary focus on personal injury and workers' compensation. Respondent is also authorized by the Social Security Administration to represent claimants nationwide in Social Security Disability claims, and is admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Northern Districts of Georgia and Texas, respectively, for federal matters including judicial review of Social Security matters. The questioner is advised that some responses on this site are provided by attorneys who are not licensed in the respective jurisdiction of the questioner, and any advice from attorneys on this site concerning state-specific areas such as workers' compensation by attorneys who are not licensed in the applicable and appropriate jurisdiction should be viewed as for general educational purposes and should generally be given lesser weight than responses by attorneys licensed in the governing jurisdiction. Response to this question further assumes that the questioner is not currently represented by counsel, and if this is not the case, then it is recommended that any further questions or concerns be directed to their current legal counsel.
I'm sorry to hear about your health problems and the loss of your appeal documents. You should locate a Social Security Attorney in your area as soon as possible. It would be helpful to obtain a copy of your Social Security file as well. If your initial application was in 2000 you may need to start the process over again, but you may be able to reopen your previous appeal. This process does take time, so you should attempt to address your need for medical care by contacting social service agencies in your area that may be able to assist you in that regard. Not only do you need to receive medical treatment for your own well-being, medical documentation of your ongoing physical impairments is important to your disability claim. Good luck.
There is no such thing as a Social Security account for you to have no funds in. But there is a rule that a claimant have "insured status" as of the disability onset date. Insured status requires 20 covered quarters to have been earned in the 40 calendar quarters immediately preceding onset of disability. In practice, where a claimant has worked steadily and then stopped, this creates a window of 5 years in which to prove disability onset.
To be medically entitled to Social Security disability benefits, a claimant must prove that their combined impairments render them unable to reliably sustain work at any kind of job known in the national economy.
Conditions like lupus and diabetes commonly worsen over time, but many people with these diagnoses are able to continue to work., and determining the point at which the disability criteria was met is difficult. It is possible that your conditions did not meet the severity criteria for award when you applied earlier, and your insured status has expired in the meantime.
If you do meet the severity criteria at the present time, and you have little income or assets, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid benefits. You can apply for these benefits online or at the Social Security office.
Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.
This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.
You may want to talk to an attorney in your area so you can review the specific facts with counsel. If you do not have an attorney, there are a number of good attorneys in your area, some of whom you can find here on Avvo. Use the “Attorney Finder” feature of Avvo for help with that.
Most attorneys who do any amount of Social Security work are members of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR) and provide a free initial consultation. In any event, no attorney may charge a fee for work on a social security claim until it has been approved by Social Security. The fee limit is a maximum of 25% of past due or back due benefits you are owed, and many lawyers charge less than the full 25%, and the money is not paid until your claim has been approved.
You may contact your local city, county or state bar association to see if they have a lawyer referral program, or you may contact your local legal aid office if you cannot afford an attorney.
You may also contact the NOSSCR for the name and email address or telephone number of attorneys in your area. The telephone number for the lawyer referral service of NOSSCR is 1-800-431-2804. NOSSCR's website is www.nosscr.org.
In addition, you can find a Board certified specialist in Social Security by contacting the National Board of Trial Advocacy. They evaluate lawyers (independently) in many types of claims and require extensive experience and testing before a lawyer is certified. They have a section specifically for Social Security: The National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, Divisions of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.
Their link is: http://www.nblsc.us/
I hope this information helps. Good luck to you!
Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.
The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.