INITIAL FILING — You need to apply for Social Security Disability benefits within a certain time frame (usually five years) after you’re unable to work. However, every month you wait will reduce the total amount of benefits. If you wait longer than five years to apply, you may not qualify for any benefits. We strongly recommend that you apply for Social Security Disability benefits as soon as you are unable to work.
APPEAL — The next important deadline is the appeal. If your initial claim is denied (and most are), you’ll only have 60 days from the date of your decision letter to file an appeal with Social Security. The 60 days start after you receive your denial letter. Social Security assumes you received the letter 5 days after the date on it unless you show them that you did not get it within the 5-day period. If you don’t file an appeal within 60 days, you give up your rights to the appeal process or you must have good reason for delaying more than 60 days to file your appeal. Even worse, you may have to start the application process all over again. We strongly recommend you engage an attorney to help you file your appeal.
FEDERAL APPEAL — Even if you’ve been denied at the hearing level and on appeals, you can still appeal in federal court. If this happens to you, please contact Baynetta M. Jordan, P.C., Attorney at Law, and let us see if we can help you appeal to federal court.