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Good cause could extend deadline for appealing SSD denial

California applicants for Social Security Disability benefits have the right to appeal a denial. The deadline for preparing an appeal is 60 days after the date on the denial letter from the agency plus five days for mailing time. Although this generally provides a person with sufficient time to prepare an appeal, certain events that prevented a timely appeal could provide a good cause for being late.

A late appeal with a good cause notice attached might gain an applicant a second chance for consideration. Disasters like fires and floods that disrupt an applicant's life or destroy important records could qualify as good causes. The death of an immediate family member or the applicant's hospitalization might also serve as appropriate reasons for late appeals.

An examiner at the Social Security Administration could accept other good causes such as mental health problems that impeded an applicant from understanding the denial notice. After the agency receives a late appeal, a claims representative will either accept or deny the reason. A rejection of a late request would require a person to start a new application.

When approaching the agency, a person might benefit from legal support. An attorney could prepare the initial application or support a person who wants to launch an appeal. Services that an attorney could provide include preparation of paperwork. An attorney could strive to provide contact information for the person's health care providers and organize medical records. An attorney familiar with the coding system used to describe diseases for SSD benefits might communicate a case in accordance with the agency's bureaucratic standards. A legal representative could also assist an applicant with making necessary appointments for medical and vocational evaluations.

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