When you miss your deadline for appealing your Social Security case, you only have two options. You can start the application process over again, or you can appeal anyway and argue that you have good cause for missing the deadline. Because the application process is so time consuming, it is understandable to want to push forward with your appeal even if it is late. Just be aware that you need to have “good cause” for missing the deadline, or there is a strong chance that your appeal will be denied.
Good Causes for Missing Deadline
No one wants to miss their filing date, but sometimes life gets in the way and you do not file your appeal on time. The Social Security Administration does have the ability to consider late appeals, but it requires that you give your reason for filing late. You can submit your appeal and describe your reason, your good cause, for missing your deadline.
There are a wide variety of acceptable causes for filing late, some of which include:
Not getting your denial notice
If you did not get notification that your application was denied, there is no way you could know that you needed to file an appeal. You may have only found out later that an appeal was necessary, or you may have gotten your notice of denial too late to meet your deadline.
Another common reason to miss a deadline is language difficulties. Perhaps you have trouble reading, have difficulty with English or have vision problems where reading your notice is not possible.
You may have mental difficulties that make it hard or impossible to understand the notice or keep track of your appeal deadline.
If you are homeless it may be difficult to get your notification of denial, or to complete your appeal forms in a timely manner.
Your disability may make it difficult to physically complete your appeal forms or to meet your appeal deadline.
Loss of records
If you lose your paperwork due to circumstances beyond your control, such as fire or theft, you may be unable to meet your appeal deadline.
Asking For A Late Appeal
If you have good cause for why you missed your deadline, you can request that the Social Security Administration accept your late appeal. The Social Security Administration is required to look over your appeal even if it is late, so as long as you can explain a solid reason for being late, you have a chance of getting your appeal anyway. Keep in mind that the organization may contact you after you submit your late appeal and request additional information to verify that your reason is acceptable.
Submitting A Late Request For Hearing Before An Administrative Law Judge
Although it is never good to miss your deadline, some deadlines are worse to miss than others. If you miss your deadline for requesting a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), you may be in a more difficult situation than if you miss the deadline for the initial appeal. Because you are going to see a judge, you will have to have good cause that passes both the claims representative that works with your initial request and the ALJ. Sometimes the ALJ can be more challenging than the claims representative.
It is possible that even though the claims representative accepts your good cause, the ALJ will not. This can be extremely frustrating, as you may feel like you are in the clear for months after filing the late appeal, only to be denied when you actually meet with the ALJ. If the ALJ decides your reason for late appeal is not acceptable, you will be forced to start the application process all over again.
Contact Our Firm Today
If you are considering a late appeal, I can help you describe your good cause in a way that will be acceptable to the Social Security Administration. Contact me now at the Paul Giannetti Attorney at Law to get assistance with all of your Social Security Disability issues. I have helped numerous clients to successfully appeal their cases, and I am ready to do the same for you. Let me use my experience to help you get your much-needed benefits.