There are many possible stages of appeal in Social Security Disability and SSI cases. The most important rule, when appealing a denial for social security disability or SSI, is to make sure the appeal is filed within 60 days of the date on the denial.
Hard and Fast Rule
Social Security has a hard and fast rule that, for an appeal to be timely, it must be filed within 60 days of the day on the denial.
If it is filed beyond the 60 days, Social Security may deny the appeal on that basis alone. It is possible, although difficult, to get Social Security to accept and appeal even if 60 days have passed since the date of the denial. To do this the claimant must establish “good cause” for the late filing.
Good Cause SSD Denial
“Good Cause” is a valid and acceptable reason that prevented the claimant from filing the appeal within 60 days.
Examples of good cause are:
- Claimant was in a psychiatric facility
- Disability Denial was sent to the wrong address
- Claimant was in the hospital
- Disability Denial was sent in a language the claimant doesn’t speak
- Claimant was incarcerated
- Claimant’s mental condition made them unable to file on time.
- All of the above are examples of “good cause” that has led Social Security, most of the time, to accept late appeals.
The various stages of appeals are:
- Request for reconsideration:
- This is an appeal of a denial of an initial application. Social Security has mostly done away with this stage, but it does exist in some jurisdictions.
- Request for a hearing:
- This is an appeal of an initial application or a denial at the reconsideration level. A request for a hearing will lead to the case being heard before an Administrative Law Judge.
- Appeals Council Review:
- When a judge upholds a denial, the next stage of appeal is to have the Appeals Council Review the Judge’s Decision. More than one administrative law judge usually reviews cases sent to the Appeals Council.
- Federal District Court:
- If the denial of benefits was upheld by the appeals council the case, if appealed, will be heard by a federal judge.