Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Requirements for Disability
Applications for disability
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after a Denial
Mental Disability Benefits
Denials for Disability
Appeals for denied claims
Disability Benefits from SSA
Child Disability Benefits
Qualifications and How to Qualify
Working and Disability
Disability Awards and Notices
Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys
Social Security List of Conditions
What Social Security considers disabling
Medical Evidence and Disability
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
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What If you intended an appeal of your Social Security Disability claim but missed the deadline?
The deadline for any disability appeal under the social security system (this would include an appeal for a denied SSI disability claim, or an appeal for a denied social security disability claim) is always 60 days from the date of the denial, plus an additional five days for mailing time.
This total sixty-five day deadline for getting your appeal sent in to the social security office applies to reconsideration appeals (this is the first appeal), requests for disability hearings (the second appeal), and requests for a review of an administrative law judge's decision (if you were denied at a disability hearing).
Since the amount of time a claimant is given to file and submit an appeal is fairly generous, there is usually no excuse, from the viewpoint of the social security administration, for getting an appeal in late. And if your appeal is submitted beyond the deadline, it generally brings an end to your case, meaning that, if you wish to continue pursuing disability benefits you will have to start with a new disability application.
Having said that, though, there are situations in which a claimant will be considered to have a good excuse for sending in a late appeal. Acceptable reasons will generally include the fact that a person did not receive notification of their denial or having a physical or mental condition that contributed to their inability to submit a timely appeal (such as being ill, not comprehending their notice of denial, or being hospitalized).
There is no absolute list of all possible situations in which a claimant may be considered to have a valid excuse for missing an appeal deadline; however, if the reason is rational and logical it will generally be accepted.
When a claimant submits a late appeal and is considered to have a valid excuse for this happening, they are found to have good cause. Good cause is granted by the social security office--more specifically, by the claims representative (CR) who has responsibility for the claim.
Claims representatives have responsibility for determining whether or not a claimant who has submitted a late request for reconsideration appeal has a valid excuse, or good cause.
When the appeal that has been sent in late is a request for hearing before an administrative law judge, then the CR can accept the claimant's excuse for the non-timely appeal; however, the judge who later conducts the hearing ultimately has the authority for deciding whether or not the non-timely request for a hearing should be accepted.
This, of course, poses a certain danger for claimants who send in a late request for a hearing. Why? Because the claims representative at the social security office may accept the claimant's excuse for the late hearing request. But when the judge actually looks at the claim many months later they may decide that the excuse is not particularly valid. This would mean that the claimant would have to start over again since the administrative law judge would not have granted good cause for the non-timely appeal. So...claimants who seek good cause should do this only for a reason that most individuals, i.e. judges, would consider reasonable and acceptable.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria