It’s not your fault that you missed the deadline to appeal your Social Security disability benefits denial. You didn’t expect your claim for benefits to become a fight, and you also didn’t expect your condition to worsen halfway through that fight. Will you have to start your benefits application all over again, or can you seek a disability appeal even though the deadline has passed?
How to Show That Your Circumstances Prevented You from Meeting the Appeal Deadline
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will allow you to file a late appeal if you have a good reason for missing the deadline. However, you must be able to explain why your appeal was late and provide as much information as possible as to why you missed the due date. The SSA will then decide if you had good cause for filing a late appeal. In most cases, “good cause” means that you:
- Were prevented from filing on time due to circumstances beyond your control
- Have (or had) a physical, mental, or educational limitation that prevented you from making the deadline
- Were waiting for an organization (such as the Centers for Medicare or Medicaid Services, a medical provider, or the Social Security office itself) to provide additional information that never arrived
- Were confused or misled by a member of one of the above organizations
Why You Should File Your Appeal as Soon as Possible
While Social Security may accept a late appeal, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to win approval. The Social Security Administration will examine your reason for delay along with the time it took you to file an appeal, so you should complete your paperwork as soon as you are able.
There is another benefit to filing a late appeal: even if you are denied, Social Security may consider the date you submitted the request as a protected filing date for a new benefit application. This way, if your appeal is not successful, you will not have to wait as long to start the process from the beginning.
Not sure whether you should reapply for benefits or begin the appeal process? Contact us at any time to discuss your specific situation.