It is very important that you file an appeal within 60 days of any Denial you receive from Social Security. (SSA may give you a couple of extra days for the Denial to be received by mail, but you do not want to rely on this). You never want to start your claim again by filing a new application unless you have no other choice.
If you miss the deadline to file your appeal even by one day, you can file the appeal and also submit a letter of “good cause” for missing the deadline. Examples of “good cause” are:
- You were seriously ill and were prevented from contacting your Social Security office in person, in writing or through a friend, relative, or other person
- There was a death or serious illness in your immediate family
- Important records were destroyed or damaged by fire or other accidental cause.
- The nature of your medical condition made it difficult to understand the Denial of how to proceed. (You should obtain a letter from your Doctor confirming this disability.)
- There is a problem with your mail that you can document or prove.
Social Security can refuse to process your appeal if they do not believe you had “good cause” to file your appeal late. (In that case, you should then file a new Application.) When you file your appeal late with your letter explaining “good cause” for missing the deadline, ask the claims representative if the Social Security will accept the appeal.
Also, if you are filing this Appeal yourself, you should hand carry the Appeal form and “good cause” letter directly to a Social Security District Office and have them stamp or sign a copy so that you have proof that you filed your documents. That way, when SSA loses the Appeal or “good cause” letter, you can show the proof that you filed these documents.