How Long Are You Given To Appeal Your Social Security Disability Denial?

If your disability claim has been denied, you can appeal your decision. Social Security has a disability appeal process that can take an individual from an initial disability claim all the way to federal court. The appeal steps, in order, are: 1. the request for reconsideration (the first appeal that takes place after the denial of a disability application),

2. the request for a hearing before an administrative law judge,

3. the appeals council review (the appeal following a denial by a judge at a disability hearing), and

4. federal district court (for those individuals who have been denied by the appeals council).

The disability appeal period is the same no matter what level of the disability process the claim is at. Social Security allows an individual a sixty-day appeal period that begins with the date of the disability decision notice plus five days for the mailing of the decisional notice. This means that an individual has sixty-five days total to file their appeal with their local Social Security office. The appeal must be received in the Social Security office within the sixty-five days to be a timely appeal.

If you want to make sure that your disability claim moves to the next level of the disability process, it is important for your appeals to be timely. If you are not timely, your disability appeal might be denied for late filing.

In general, Social Security claims representatives (these are the people who work in social security offices and take claims for retirement and disability benefits) are somewhat flexible with a late filed appeal...if the disability claimant can provide a statement with a reasonable reason as to why their disability appeal was filed late.

The granting of good cause (good cause exists when the social security administrations accepts a claimant's excuse for submitting something in an untimely fashion) for the late filing of an appeal is at the discretion of the claims representative (CR). And the CR will have the final word on this for a request for reconsideration that was sent in late.

However, even if a CR grants good cause for the late filing of a request for a disability hearing (the second appeal in the system), the person who will have the last and final word on accepting the late appeal will be the judge who ends up being assigned to hear the case.

To repeat: even if a CR grants good cause for the late filing of a request for an administrative law judge hearing, the judge does not have to concur. Administrative law judges are not very flexible when it comes to late filing and they often do not grant good cause.

In most cases, however, sixty-five days is plenty of time to file an appeal. Social Security has even added an online appeal filing process that may be more convenient for disability applicants and the online appeal process is often used by disability lawyers and non-attorney disability representatives.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

Most popular topics on

Social Security Disability in North Carolina

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI

Advice to Win SSD and SSI Benefit Claims

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

Related pages:

If I get denied disability, should I get a lawyer?
Getting disability approved on a reconsideration with an attorney
Denied for disability, then my condition got worse
The Levels Of The Social Security Disability and SSI Application and Appeal Process
How does the Social Security Disability Appeal Process work?
Is it better to appeal or file a new claim if your disability is denied?
How Long Are You Given To Appeal Your Social Security Disability Denial?
How Long Does a Social Security Disability or SSI Appeal Take?
Will I be approved for disability on my appeal?
What Happens If I Miss My Social Security Disability Appeal Date?
How Do I Find Out How My Disability Appeal Is Going?
Can You Work While You Appeal Your Social Security Disability Decision?
How Long Does It Take To Get SSDI If You Have To Appeal?
If Your Disability Benefits Are Stopped Can You Get Them While You Appeal?
Winning a Social Security Disability Appeal or SSI Appeal
Qualifying for Disability in South Carolina
If you apply for disability in South Carolina
Disability Lawyer in South Carolina