People in West Virginia who are going through the application process for Social Security Disability benefits will be scheduled an application appointment. If the application appointment is missed, the applicant will have to meet certain obligations in order to secure benefits. Typically, when the appointment is missed, the Social Security Administration will send a letter, referred to as a closeout letter, to the applicant.
The closeout letter provides notice that the applicant has six months from the date of the denial notice to file for benefits with the date of SSA contact acting as the protected date of filing. If the applicant does not file during the six month window, he or she will receive a new filing date. This new filing date is typically the date that the person contacted the SSA to establish a new application appointment.
The trouble for applicants is that they might not be eligible for as much money in back payment benefits if their application date changes. Specifically, Social Security allows for up to 12 months of back payments if the person has been engaged in substantial work for a minimum of 17 months before the protected filing date. If the protected filing date moves forward due to the applicant missing his or her application appointment and the six-month filing window, that could result in some or all of the back payments becoming ineligible.
Once a closeout letter has been sent, the SSA will not contact the applicant further. It is the applicant's responsibility to reschedule. An attorney with experience handling Social Security Disability claims might be able to help people who are going through the application process by drafting and filing necessary documents with the SSA or other agencies. An attorney might be able to reschedule an appointment on the applicant's behalf or communicate for the client during official hearings.