Reasons The SSA Might Accept For Late Appeal Filings


If your initial application for Social Security disability is denied, you can appeal that unfavorable decision. If you believe you meet the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s definition of disability, then you may win benefits during the appeals process.

For the SSA to consider you disabled, you must have a physical or mental disability for at least one year or that should result in your death and cannot work any job that would provide you with gainful employment.

In Most Cases, You Must File Your Appeal With the SSA Within 60 Days

It’s important to know that if you are filing for an appeal, you must do so in a timely manner. You have 60 days from the date you receive the notice of denial for your first application to file for the appeal. If you do not do so within the time frame, you must start the process all over again. However, there are some extenuating circumstances in which the SSA will accept a late filing for an appeal.

5 Reasons the SSA May Accept Late Disability Appeals

Here are some reasons the SSA might excuse a late appeals filing:

Reason #1: Destroyed Records

If records/evidence needed for your appeal were destroyed in an accident or fire, this could be an acceptable excuse. These records must have been important to meeting the deadline, and the destruction must have occurred close to the cutoff date. For example, if your denial notice and date were in your home that burned down a week before you were supposed to file for your appeal, this would be considered reasonable for missing the deadline.

Reason #2: Illness

If you were very sick during the time frame when the appeal filing was due and you were not about to contact the SSA because of your illnesses, this might be viable. You need to be able to prove that you were seriously ill and provide evidence of this, or the SSA may not accept this reason.

Reason #3: Additional Information Needed Before You Can File Your Appeal

If you requested additional information regarding why the SSA denied your initial application before your deadline, you have 60 days from when the additional information arrived to request an appeal.

Reason #4: Death

If someone in your immediate family became gravely ill or died, the SSA might accept this as a reason you were not able to file in time.

Reason #5: Lack Of Understanding About the SSA Appeals Process

If the SSA gave you wrong or confusing information about filing your appeal, missing the deadline’s not your fault. Additionally, if your health issues made it impossible to meet your appeals deadline, the SSA may accept your late filing. (For example: You misunderstood and sent your request to a different agency.) Or, perhaps you did not receive a denial notice because of a mix-up with your postal carrier. If you didn’t receive a notice, you’ll need to prove it. Maybe the USPS delivered your letter to the wrong address, despite the SSA sending it to the correct one.

You May Qualify for Legal Assistance

The SSD claims process is time-consuming and confusing for most applicants. A Social Security attorney makes you 2x more likely to get benefits approved the first time you apply. If the SSA won’t approve your claim, you pay $0 for legal assistance. And if you win, you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee.

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