Reopening is at the discretion of SSA and is not a right afforded to the claimant
upon request, even if the claimant makes the request within one year of the notice
of the initial determination. However, in all cases it is SSA’s policy to honor the
request to review the case to see if reopening applies. After the proper review, we
inform the claimant of the decision to reopen or not and the reason for the decision.
When we make a determination or decision with respect to entitlement, the claimant
and SSA rely on its accuracy. The regulations prescribe that determinations and decisions
made by SSA can be reopened and revised only for following specific reasons or within
a certain time period:
Within one year of the date of the notice of the initial determination for any reason;
Within four years of the date of the notice of the initial determination for good
cause (GN 04010.001); or
At any time for cases meeting conditions listed in GN 04020.010 – GN 04020.110
Based on this principle, SSA can reopen a final determination if the review demonstrates
erroneous information or questionable information procedure.