The Social Security Administration takes into account some of the difficult circumstances that might affect applicants in California. Any individual has a right to appeal a decision from the agency. Usually, the appeal must be made in writing within 60 days of receiving the decision letter plus five more days for mailing time. If an applicant fails to complete an appeal within this time window, the agency recognizes many good causes for missing the deadline.

An appeal might still proceed if the agency receives documentation that indicates that the applicant was too sick to complete the paperwork. A death in the immediate family or losing records in a fire are also acceptable reasons. Furthermore, someone impeded by mental, physical, language, speech or educational issues might gain an extension for the appeal process. When people need more time to collect requested records, the agency may view it as good cause for missing the deadline. Mistakes by the agency, such as never sending the decision letter or providing inaccurate directions, could also qualify as valid excuses.

For the most part, the agency accepts most reasons for sending in appeals late. However, this leniency only applies when people initially ask for the reconsideration of a decision. If someone is requesting a hearing with an administrative law judge, deadlines will be enforced.

A person facing long-term or permanent disability could learn more about Social Security Disability benefits by speaking with a lawyer. An attorney might possess familiarity with the coding used to describe disabling diseases and injuries on application paperwork. In urgent situations, a lawyer could also investigate how to file for an expedited case review.