|Natalia:||Welcome to the Hill & Ponton Disability blog. I’m Natalia Jofre, our Social Security Section Director.|
|Shelly:||And I’m Shelly Mark, I’m our Senior Social Security Attorney.|
|Natalia:||We wanted to talk to you today about what happens if you’re denied at the initial level, which we talked about in our last blog, and what your basic options are. If you’re approved, congratulations. It is somewhat of a rarity, because 85% of cases are denied, but if you’re denied then you can file an appeal and request what’s called reconsideration. That will now basically put you at the second level of the social security claims process.|
|In order to file an appeal, you have to complete very specific forms. You can get these online, you can submit your appeal online, you can go into your local social security office, or you can mail in your appeal. We recommend probably that you file it online because it is the fastest way to submit your appeal and cuts down on your wait time. That’s what we do for our clients. If you go to your local social security office, make sure you get their really early, or perhaps you can try and make an appointment.|
|If you mail your appeal, we strongly recommend that you send it certified return receipt so that way you have proof that it was actually received by the social security office because-|
|Shelly:||They have a history of not receiving things that are actually sent to them.|
|Natalia:||Right. They lose things a lot, and you don’t want it to come down to your word against there’s because the only options gonna be for you to start all over again. You have 60 days to file an appeal, plus five mailing days. That sounds awkward but it can come in very, very handy because let’s say you get your denial, you get sick, and time sort of passes you by, you had a total of 65 days then however, you want to make sure that it’s actually in their office within that time period because it’s technically 60. Go ahead.|
|Shelly:||One thing that I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed before is some of our clients may be aren’t at a permanent address while they’re filing their disability claim, and a lot of times at this point in their claim their correspondence may be sending to an address that they’re not at all the time, so they run into issues where they’re not getting the decision in a timely manner so that they can file an appeal.|
|Just a point to remember, make sure whichever address you’re using with social security is either your address, or if it is a different address, that it’s somewhere that someone’s gonna be notifying them as soon as the documents come in.|
|Natalia:||That’s a really big deal. If you are having your denials or your mail in general sent to a relatives home, or a friends home, make sure that you are checking in with them frequently because social security is not going to accept, “My friend didn’t tell me that I got this denial.” As a reasonable explanation for why you didn’t file an appeal on time.|
|What they would accept would be something like you were hospitalized and you couldn’t, you physically weren’t able, or you mentally weren’t able. You know, if you were in a psychiatric facility, or if you were in a coma clearly you couldn’t file your own appeal. If it’s basically, “Well you know, my mom got it and she didn’t tell me, or they were on a twiddy house vacation fro two weeks and when we got back the mailbox was full.” None of that’s gonna be a legitimate explanation for them in order to file your appeal late.|
|I think next we’ll talk about what you actually do, and what actually happens once you file that appeal and where it goes, and what you can expect to happen next in our next blog.|
|Shelly:||That sounds great.|
|Natalia:||All right, great. Well thanks for joining us. If you have any questions feel free to call our office or visit our website.|
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