What Can I Do if I Miss My Disability Appeal Deadline?

When coping with a severe illness, impairment, or other disability it can be difficult to keep track of you many doctor’s appointments and other obligations. After all, you did stop your fulltime work because of the limiting effects of your severe impairment. Trying to handle the application, the evidence, and the investigation for more sources of corroborating medical data can become nearly impossible for some applicants due to appeal filing deadline that is imposed by the Social Security Administration.

However, you do not have to handle your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application alone. For more than 20 years Fayetteville AR disability lawyer Ken Kieklak of the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak has fought for hardworking people in northwest Arkansas who have been forced to stop work due to a severe injury, illness or other disability. Ken can handle every step of your Social Security disability process including filing timely appeals on your behalf. If you have already or are soon to exceed the time on your appeal, Ken can work to convince the Social Security Administration to accept the application or, failing that, work to mitigate the situation in other ways.

How Long Do I have to File a Social Security Appeal?

If you have filed an application for benefits, but received a benefits denial, it is important to be cognizant of the time you have to file an appeal. The benefits denial letter you receive should state the period you have to file your timely appeal, which is typically 60 days. That is, you must file your request for Reconsideration, Appeals Council review, or other appeal within 60 days. In the event that the 60th day falls on a weekend or a national holiday, the deadline is extended to the next regular business day. If you fail to file by this time, you may lose your right to an appeal and be forced to start the process anew.  However, while they should never be relied on, some exceptions to this rule may apply.

What Are Exceptions that can make the SSA Accept a Late SSDI or SSI Appeal?

To file an appeal with the SSA, it must be submitted in writing. Likewise, a request for more time or to accept a late appeal must be in writing and it must state a good reason for the applicant’s inability to make a timely filing. While each and every situation will be considered on its own merits, there are some potential scenarios where the SSA would be more willing to grant an extension or accept a late appeal including:

  • A disaster such as a fire or flood destroyed the medical, vocational, educational, or other records you needed to prove your allegations. You must show that the event occurred, that it destroyed important information, and the date of the destruction was close to the filing deadline.
  • If you or your Social Security attorney requested additional information about the claim from the SSA, you will receive an additional 60 day period starting from the date you receive the information.
  • A physical or mental impairment prevented you from understanding your responsibilities.
  • You never received the denial letter from the SSA. This can be difficult to prove because you must prove a negative. However if your address is listed incorrectly in the SSA’s records, that would lend support to your allegations.
  • There was a death or serious illness in your family.
  • You mailed your appeal to a different government agency because you did not understand what you were supposed to do.
  • Social Security or a related government agency provided information that was misleading or confusing and caused you to fail to meet the filing deadline.

In short, there are many ways to make a mistake and fail to file on time. By contrast, while there are a number of good reasons for a late filing, they are limited to only more serious circumstances. However, even if the SSA does not accept your reason as good cause for a late filing, your SSA attorney can work to use the late filing date as a protective filing for your reapplication.

Rely on Our Social Security Appeal Experience

For more than 20 years, Ken Kieklak has fought on behalf of Arkansans with serious impairments that have forced them to stop working. To schedule a free and confidential Social Security appeals consultation call the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak at (479) 316-0438 today or contact us online.