While most people are familiar with the concept of dates and deadlines, when it comes to legal proceedings, you need to be certain you understand their importance. When you apply for Social Security Disability benefits, your initial filing date can be important. While you can file anytime after you have become disabled, usually the sooner you file, the better.
This is because sometimes your benefit payment will be based on your filing date. For Disability Insurance Benefits, people who don't file for a long time after they become disbled can get a maximum of 12 months back pay before the application dats. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits only start the month after you file. Even if you are forced to wait for months or years for a hearing, your benefits are sometimes calculated based on the date of your application. Other dates within the process are equally important.
Deadlines within the appeal process for SSD benefits are very important. If you miss one of these deadlines, your claim could potentially be closed. This means you will need to begin the process all over from the beginning, adding years of delay to your to the process and sometimes reducing your eventual payments.
If your claim is denied, you have 60 days from the date on the letter in which to file an appeal. SSA does permit some exceptions to this 60-day deadline, such as if you had a sudden health emergency and were hospitalized or suffered some other event that you could not control, like a house fire.
Of course, you want to avoid missing any deadlines, whether for an appeal or any other date.
You attorney can explain how this process works and help to ensure that your filings are timely and that you don't suffer needless delays within the process.