Social Security Disability Resource Center

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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 disability claim decisions have a sixty day appeal period in which to appeal the disability denial. Social Security takes into account that the appeal period begins with the date of the denial notice, so they allow five additional days for the mailing time of the denial notice.

Basically, this means that any disability applicant who receives a disability denial has five extra days, for a total of sixty-five days, to get their appeal to Social Security. In order for an appeal to be timely it must be in the Social Security office of jurisdiction on the sixty-fifth day (counting from the date of the notice of denial).

If you want to file an appeal, you have a few ways to file your appeal. You can file your appeal online (on the Social Security website), you can mail in paper appeal forms, or you can go to your local Social Security office and file your appeal. It really does not matter which method you use just make sure to complete all necessary forms and return any requested forms. Remember that if you are represented by a disability attorney, you should contact this individual and have them 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.

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    Can You Work While You Appeal Your Social Security Disability Decision?
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    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