How much time are you given to request your Social Security Disability Hearing?

The first appeal level is the reconsideration level, the second appeal level is an Administrative law judge hearing, and initiating the appeal process is the same for both levels. You must first contact the Social Security administration (usually, the same office where you started your claim) and request the proper forms for either a reconsideration appeal or a disability hearing. If you have an attorney handling your case, they will do this for you.

You must request and turn in your actual appeal forms (either for a hearing request or a reconsideration request) to your local Social Security office within the "appeals period".

Now you may be wondering what is an appeals period. Social Security allows sixty-five days (sixty days plus five days for mailing) in which to file your appeal of your disability denial.

This means that your local Social Security office must receive the appeal in their office by the sixty-fifth day (from the date of your disability denial). Of course. there are some exceptions to this rule, but they are few (for example, if you were in the hospital and were unable to comply).

When it comes to requesting a hearing, being timely is even more important because administrative law judges are not very lenient with late appeal filings. In fact, the vast majority of late Social Security Disability hearing requests that are filed late are not given good cause and are denied.

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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