Important Info and FAQ’s For Social Security Disability
Applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is far from simple. Not only are you coping with an illness or disability, loss of work and family income, and a changed lifestyle, but you also have to deal with the process of filling for Social Security disability. The application and appeals process can be daunting and stressful, and a missed deadline can mean having to start the process all over again.
The good news is that you don’t have to go through this overwhelming ordeal alone. The experienced and compassionate attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush can help. Our skilled lawyers will not let you become a victim of the system. Collectively, we have decades of experience providing guidance to individuals applying for SSD benefits, appealing SSD denials and requesting “good cause for late filing” for those who have missed a filing or appeal deadline.
Levels of Appeal
Initial applicants, if denied, appeal their claims by filing a Request for Reconsideration with the Social Security Administration. If the claim is again denied at the Reconsideration level, claimants must file a Request for Hearing, also with the Social Security Administration (SSA). SSA will transfer your Request for Hearing to ODAR, the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. If again denied, claimants may appeal to the Appeals Council by filing a Request for Review. If denied yet again, it is possible to file a lawsuit in the federal District Court. There are still other levels of appeal with the (regional) First Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court for rare cases. It is critically important to have an experienced disability attorney represent you at all levels of appeal, as the results can be greatly influenced by the strength of the medical evidence presented in your case, by the testimony of medical experts and by a persuasive legal argument made by a seasoned attorney. Our attorneys know how to help you tell your story about the truth of your life and the effect your disability has on your ability to work. Simply stated, having experienced legal representation can make all the difference; the difference between winning and losing your disability case.
SSA Time Limits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) enforces strict time limits for SSD appeals. After a denial, typically, a claimant has only 60 days to request an appeal. Unless you can prove that you received the notice late, the SSA presumes that you received their denial letter five days after they mailed it. Claimants who fail to appeal by the deadline may have their claims dismissed. If you miss this deadline, you may have to start the application process all over again. If you are truly disabled and cannot work, the consequences of missing a deadline and not appealing are simply too high to risk.
If you miss a deadline, you can file a Request for Good Cause with SSA. You must explain why you waited more than 60 days to request an appeal. SSA has set forth certain reasons that they will accept. It helps to be familiar with the federal disability Regulations, Rulings and Case Law to succeed when making such a request.
“Good Cause” for Missing Social Security Disability Appeal Request Deadline
The Code of Federal Regulations, Section 404.911 sets forth reasons SSA will accept for a late filed appeal. The SSA will consider the following when deciding whether a person has established “good cause” for missing a deadline:
- circumstances that may have prevented an individual from making the request on time;
- an action on the part of the SSA was misleading;
- a person’s difficulty understanding the requirements and deadlines;
- an individual’s physical, mental, educational, or linguistic limitations (including any lack of ability to understand the English language) hindered them from filing a timely request or from understanding or knowing about the requirement to file a timely request for review;
- a person’s health condition and whether they were so ill that they couldn’t contact the SSA in person, in writing, or have a friend, relative, or other person do so;
- a death or serious illness in the immediate family;
- the destruction or damage of important records due to a fire or other accident;
- an individual’s attempt to find necessary data to support their claim was difficult and wasn’t accomplished within the stated time limit;
- extra information describing the SSA’s decision was requested within the time limit, and within 60 days of receiving the explanation a person asked for reconsideration or a hearing, or within 30 days of receiving the explanation a person asked for Appeal Council review or filed a civil suit;
- inaccurate or partial information was given about when and how to request administrative review or to file a civil suit;
- notice of determination or decision was not received;
- a request for review was sent to another Government agency in good faith within the time limit but the request was not obtained until after the time period had expired; or,
- other atypical or unavoidable circumstances caused a person to be unaware of the need to file within a certain time frame, or prevented a person from filing within the time frame.
Our Social Security Disability Lawyers in RI, CT, and MA Can Help
When selecting an attorney to represent you for your Social Security disability claim, make sure that you pick a firm with the resources, experience and skill needed to take your claim to the highest levels of appeal if necessary. The Rhode Island Social Security Disability attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush take pride in upholding the highest standards of excellence and integrity. We represent clients at all levels of appeal/review. As Rhode Island’s premier and largest Social Security Disability law firm, we provide every client with effective legal assistance in order to obtain extraordinary results.
Simply stated, we are dedicated to winning your case and obtaining for you the benefits you need and deserve. What distinguishes us from other law firms is not only the extraordinary results we obtain, but also the way we treat our clients. We treat our clients the same way we would want our own family members or loved ones treated if they were seeking legal or other professional services. For more information about how we can help you obtain Social Security Disability benefits, please call 855-505-1092 or fill out a contact form today.