Nobody ever imagines they will become disabled. Unfortunately, according to the Social Security Administration, studies show that just over 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before reaching age 67.
Finding yourself suddenly disabled and unable to work is scary. Fortunately, Social Security can provide disability benefits, if you qualify. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must:
- Have worked long enough,
- Paid Social Security taxes, and
- Have a medical condition which has prevented or is expected to prevent you from working for 12 months or end in death
So, you think you qualify and file a claim. Not uncommonly, your claim for Social Security disability benefits may be denied. Fortunately, there is an appeal process. But what happens if you miss the 60 day window to file an appeal of the denial?
What Should You Do?
Having been denied disability benefits you badly need is unsettling. Even worse, now you’ve missed the deadline to appeal your denial. Luckily, there is still hope. There are ways to proceed with your claim and hopefully get the benefits you need and deserve.
One of the best ways to get out of such a difficult situation, and good advice generally when dealing with any important life event, is to reach out for help. You have the right to be represented while pursuing your claim for Social Security disability benefits, and it is a right you should certainly consider. An experienced and knowledgeable representative will be hugely helpful as you navigate the often complex and tedious world of dealing with the government and filing such important claims. The following provides some examples of just how an experienced representative, such as can be provided by Rankin & Rankin law firm, can help you to overcome the obstacle of missing the window to appeal your Social Security disability claim denial.
Request an Extension to File Your Appeal
One way of possibly overcoming the obstacle of having not filed your appeal in time is to make a written request for the Social Security Administration to accept your late appeal. However, that request will only be granted for “good cause,” basically meaning that you must have a good reason for why you did not file your appeal on time.
So, what are some examples where good cause exists for failing to appeal your denial of disability in time? Here are just a few circumstances, according to the Social Security Administration, where good cause exists:
- The claimant was seriously ill and was prevented from contacting SSA
- There was a death or serious illness in the claimant’s immediate family
- Patient records were destroyed or damaged by fire or other accidental cause
- An agency representative of SSA or CMS gave the claimant confusing, incorrect, or incomplete information
- The claimant did not receive a notice of the determination or decision
- The claimant submitted the appeal request to another government agency in good faith within the time limit and the request did not reach SSA until after the time period had expired.
Other Possible Options
If the request for the Social Security Administration to accept your late appeal is denied or you don’t have good cause for why you missed the deadline, you may want to seek out help to file a new claim by completing a new application. A skilled representative will be able to examine the rationale of the denial letter, make sure you complete everything correctly and thoroughly, and compile as much medical evidence as possible.
Further, after speaking with someone with knowledge and experience in this area, you may realize that other methods of receiving the support you need are available. Perhaps you will benefit from filing a workers’ compensation claim, applying for other social programs, or filing a personal injury suit.
Contact Us Today!
Finding yourself disabled and unable to work is frightening. Fortunately, there may be ways we can help, even if you’ve had your Social Security disability claim denied or missed the window to appeal your denial. Schedule a FREE CASE EVALUATION by calling 843-248-2405 or by filling out the form below in order to find out the best way to handle your unique situation.
Rankin and Rankin Law Firm is located in Conway, South Carolina and serves the entire Lowcountry area including Horry County, Myrtle Beach, Georgetown, Charleston, and Hilton Head, SC.