How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

What Happens If You Miss Your Social Security Disability Application Appointment?

If you miss your Social Security Disability application appointment, Social Security will send you what is known as a closeout letter. Basically, the closeout letter will give you six months from the date of your denial notice to file for Social Security Disability benefits using the date that you contacted the Social Security Administration as a protective filing date.

If you fail to file for Social Security Disability during the six-month period, your new filing date for disability will be when you recontacted Social Security to set up another appointment for a disability application, meaning that you may end up not being eligible for as much in back pay benefits.

Closeout letters allow Social Security to limit the scope of their disability application. Simply, it allows them to limit the amount of retroactive benefits payable. Social Security pays twelve months of retroactive benefits provided that there has been substantial work activity for at least seventeen months prior to the protected date of filing.

For example, if you contacted Social Security for your disability application appointment on 10/01/15 with an alleged disability onset date (when you first became unable to work at the substantial gainful activity level because of your disabling condition) of 05/01/14, Social Security could potentially pay you retroactive benefits back to 10/14.

However, if your disability application appointment was set for 10/15/15 and you miss your appointment on 10/15/15 and do not contact Social Security to reschedule your disability interview until 06/15/16, Social Security will only pay retroactive benefits back to 07/15.

Social Security can only pay twelve months back from the protected date of filing of 06/15/16. In this example, even if you allege the same disability onset of 05/01/14, you can only receive retroactive benefits back to 07/15 because of your protected date of filing is 06/15/16, rather than 10/01/15.

Once Social Security sends the closeout notice for a missed disability application appointment, they do not contact an applicant again. Rescheduling the disability application interview is the applicant's responsibility.

The applicant could miss months of disability benefits if they do not file their disability claim within the six month closeout period, especially if they have not been working for months or even years before they contacted Social Security for their missed disability application interview.

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For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.