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Missed disability appeal deadline what next?

One thing all disability applicants can agree on is that the disability process is confusing and time-consuming. It’s almost impossible for first time applicants to understand everything they need to know to successfully navigate the process. In fact, one of the most confusing aspects of the process is deadlines and what to do if you missed a disability appeal deadline.


Recently on our disability forum a user asked, “I submitted my SSDI application, but I was denied. I did not realize that I only had sixty days to appeal the denial. What are my options? Do I really have to start the process again from the very beginning?”

Missed disability appeal deadline next steps

Up to 65% of disability applicants who apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are denied the first time they apply. Unfortunately, many do not realize that if they are denied they have sixty days to appeal the denial by requesting a reconsideration (in most states). Other states allow the claimant to immediately request a hearing.

Whether you can request a hearing or a reconsideration, however, the point is you have to make your appeal request within 60 days. Most claimants who do not file their disability appeal within that timeframe will have to start the process again from the beginning by filing another application.

Some claimants, however, may be able to ask for a deadline waiver and file their disability appeal after the deadline. The waiver will only be granted, however, if the SSA determines the applicant had good cause for missing the deadline.

SSA and valid reasons for waiving the disability appeal deadline

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will only grant late disability appeals when the claimant has good cause to miss a deadline. If the SSA determines you do not have good cause, the request for a late disability appeal will be denied. The SSA has determined the following reasons are good cause:

If you have evidence that you have been seriously ill or hospitalized for an extended period of time, the SSA will grant your request for a disability appeal extension. If someone in your immediate family has been seriously injured or died, they may also grant your request.

If information which is vital to your case has been destroyed in a fire, flood, storm, or tornado, you may request to a disability appeal extension.

If the denial notice was sent to the wrong address or lost in the mail or you were given conflicting information by the SSA, a disability appeal extension may be granted.

Other reasons an extension may be granted include a pending inquiry requested by your lawyer, personal issues that made it impossible to complete the application, or misdirected responses by the SSA.

How do I ask for a disability appeal extension?

Contact the SSA and request a State of Claimant form. Complete this form and detail the reasons you have for missing the appeal deadline. Submit all forms to the local SSA office.