When California applicants are denied Social Security Disability Insurance benefits at the first stage of the process, they have the right to file an appeal. After a decision is made on a disability claim, applicants have a 60-day period in which to seek an appeal. This period begins with the date the notice was issued, so there are an extra five days to cover the mailing time before the notice reached the applicant. In order for an appeal to be considered timely, it must arrive at Social Security office on or before the 65th day from the notice of denial.

There are several ways to file an appeal. Applicants for SSDI benefits can file on the Social Security website, by mailing in a paper form or in person at a local office. A disability attorney can act for an applicant by filing the appeal on his or her client’s behalf. However, some people miss the appeal deadline and may be concerned about how they can still move forward. People who filed late for an appeal may seek a determination that their delay had a good cause, which will allow them to proceed with their current application for benefits.

Good cause can be granted if the filer did not receive the denial notice in the mail, if a mental illness prevented the applicant from being able to complete paperwork or if there were language problems. In addition, physical limitations, loss of records due to a disaster or homelessness may also lead to a recognition of good cause for delay.

A disability lawyer can help an SSDI applicant file all the paperwork in a timely manner. In addition, an attorney can ensure that a claimant will present the best case before an administrative law judge.