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Appeals Deadlines for Social Security Disability Claims

We've discussed what happens after one has received a Fully Favorable Notice of Decision, so we'll touch base on what happens after an Unfavorable Notice of Decision has been received. For those who have received an Unfavorable decision after their hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, there is always the option to appeal the decision...but, the most important thing to keep in mind is that there is a time limit to do so. The Social Security Administration has set forth a 60-day deadline for appeals; this deadline applies to all decisions regardless of their stage in the disability process.

Generally, you have 60 days after you receive your Notice of Decision to ask for any type of appeal. According to the Social Security Administration, the following applies:

  • In counting the 60 days, the Social Security Administration will presume that you receive the notice five days after they've mailed it unless you can show that you received it later.
  • If you do not appeal on time, the Appeals Council may dismiss your appeal. This means that you may not be eligible for the next step in the appeal process and that you may also lose your right to any further review.
  • You must have a good reason if you wait more than 60 days to request an appeal. If you file an appeal after the deadline, you must explain the reason you are late and request that the Social Security Administration extend the time limit. The people in the Social Security office can explain further and help you file a written request to extend the time limit. The Appeals Council will consider your request and decide whether to extend the time limit.

There are rare cases (for instance, some claims that have been remanded) that only have 30 days in which to appeal, as opposed to the above-noted typical deadline. Unfavorable decisions should be read carefully and in a timely manner to ensure that the appropriate amount of time is allotted for any further action needed.

If you're a client and have received an Unfavorable Notice of Decision, please do not be discouraged. All decisions are closely reviewed by our advocates, and we are more than happy to provide a detailed explanation of the Administrative Law Judge's decision.

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