West Virginia residents have the right to submit an appeal if their claim for disability benefits has been denied. The Social Security Administration gives claimants 60 days from the date of their decision notice to file an appeal.
Although the appeal period is 60 days long, SSA provides an extra five days to account for the mailing of the decision notice. As a result, claimants have a total of 65 days to submit their appeal.
There may be situations in which claimants are allowed to submit an appeal beyond the standard appeal period, such as if they have a valid reason for file their appeal late. The claimants should submit a good cause statement with their appeal that details why they were unable to file their appeal in a timely manner.
The good cause statement will be reviewed by a Social Security claims representative who will decide if good cause is applicable. If the late appeal is related to an issue that is before an administrative law judge, whether good cause can be provided will be determined by that judge.
Examples of good cause reasons that may be accepted may include situations in which the claimant experienced a catastrophic event, like a flood or home fire, that resulted in the destruction of their papers and records. Individuals who have certain mental complications that prevented them from timely completing and submitting their records may also be allowed to file late.
Individuals who are having difficulty navigating the application or appeal processes for Social Security Disability may speak with an attorney about their options. The attorney might assist with obtaining paperwork to satisfy medical requirements and advocate for clients during benefit hearings.