What Happens If I Miss My Social Security Disability Appeal Date?

If your disability claim or appeal is denied, you have the right to appeal that denial. All file your Social Security Disability appeal or SSI disability appeal for you.

What happens if you miss the Social Security appeal date? Really, this depends upon the CR, a.k.a. the social security claims representative (the CR is the person at the social security office who has the responsibility for handling your claim), who receives your appeal request. It also depends on how late the appeal is, and the reason your appeal was filed late. There is much more flexibility with late appeal filings at the reconsideration appeal level than with requests for hearings.

According to Social Security guidelines, good cause for late filing can be granted for some of the following reasons:

1. Non-receipt of the denial notice (this is the most commonly cited reason)

2. Mental illness (resulting in being unable to keep up with paperwork, complete forms, etc.)

3. Language problems (i.e. being illiterate or not being able to read English)

4. Physical limitations

5. Loss of important records due to fire, incarceration, theft, etc.

6. Being homeless with no relatives to help

These are just some of the reasons an individual may have filed their appeal late. Whatever the reason for your late filing, be sure to provide Social Security with a written statement as to why you were late in filing your appeal. You may or may not receive a determination of good cause from Social Security (which would allow your late appeal to be accepted); however it is most certainly worth attempting.

If you do not receive good cause for late filing, you will have no other choice but to file a new initial disability claim and start all over. As I stated earlier, administrative law judges are not very flexible with late filing for hearing requests and they routinely dismiss them wthout good cause.

If you think that you may have a problem filing your appeal timely, you should hire a Social Security Disability representative (attorney or non-attorney) to file your appeals for you. Be sure that Social Security and your representative (if you obtain one) have a current address and phone number for you at all times.

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.

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