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Q: My Social Security Disability application was denied, and I missed the deadline for appeal—can I try to appeal again?

A:

If your application for Social Security Disability benefits was denied, you are in good company—in fact, most people’s initial attempt at applying for Social Security Disability is a flop.

After your initial application is denied, you are given a 60-day window to file an appeal to the Social Security Administration, or SSA. While it is incredibly important that you adhere to all deadlines related to your application, life often gets in the way—especially if you are coping with a challenging disability.

Should you miss the 60-day deadline for filing an appeal, you may still be able to file if you are able to prove to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you had a valid, substantial reason for missing the deadline. This is known as “good cause,” and the SSA lists several causes that would be honored and granted an extension.

What Constitutes Good Cause in the Eyes of the Social Security Administration?

After reviewing your reason(s) for missing the appeal deadline, the SSA will determine whether you did, indeed, have good cause for missing the deadline. Should they find that you satisfactorily demonstrated a valid reason for missing the deadline, you will be granted an extension to file the appeal.

The reasons listed by the SSA as “good cause” include, but are not limited to:

  • You were seriously ill and were unable to contact the SSA directly—either in person or in writing—or through another individual.
  • You experienced a death or serious illness in your immediate family.
  • Despite your best efforts, you were unable to locate supporting documents for your appeal within the 60-day time-frame.
  • Supporting documents for your appeal were destroyed by fire or accident.
  • You asked the SSA for additional information for your appeal and requested reconsideration within 60 days of receiving the information, or requested Appeal Council review within 30 days of receiving the information.
  • You were given incomplete or incorrect information about how to request a review or file a civil suit.
  • You were never informed that your application was denied.
  • You sent your request for appeal to another government agency in good faith within the 60 day time limit, but the request did not make its way to the SSA in time.

While obtaining an extension to file your appeal is possible, it is much easier to address the appeal as so as you receive your denial. If your SSDI application was denied, immediately seeking the help of a Harrisburg Social Security Disability attorney can help you strengthen your appeal. For assistance with your case, call our office today or fill out our simple online contact form.

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