The first thing you should do if you’ve received a denial letter in your Social Security disability claim is read the letter! I know this seems obvious, but I’ve spoken with countless claimant who were so mad or frustrated that they threw the letter in a drawer or into the trash. What these claimants fail to recognize, however, is that the denial letter explains your rights and how to appeal the decision. Moreover, the letter explains that you have a limited amount of time to file an appeal.
Time Limit to Appeal
First, and most importantly, you are on a strict time limit to file your appeal.
If your decision is an initial denial, you only have 60 days to file an appeal – either a Request for Reconsideration or Request for Hearing Before an Administrative Law Judge (depending on your jurisdiction).
If your decision is a cut-off or cessation case, then there is one more important deadline. You only have 10 days from the date on the decision to elect continuing benefits pending the outcome of your appeal. That means you only have 10 days to get down to the Social Security office to elect continuing benefits, or your benefits will be cut-off during your appeal.
If your decision is a Notice of Reconsideration, you only have 60 days to file your Request for Hearing.
There are many ways to file the appeal. You can file the appeal online. You can call Social Security and have them send you the paperwork to file an appeal. Or you can go down to your local office and file it in person. I always say the safest is to do it in person so that it is handled correctly and you can have a written print-out of your filing.
You should also consider hiring an attorney experienced in the appeals process. The Ortiz Law Firm has experience in handling all levels of appeal. If you would like a free consultation with Mr. Ortiz, please call 850-308-7833.