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Can an attorney help me get an extension on a late SSDI appeal?

New Rochelle, NY |

I had a lawyer handling my SSDI claim from the beginning stage. I believed that he filed an appeal after the initial claim was denied. He did not. Can a new attorney help me get an extension as well as handle my appeal or do I have apply for extension on my own and hope that SS accepts my request?

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Attorney answers 2


It is not an extension you need. You can file the appeal, knowing it is late, and attache a "good cause" statement for the late filing. There is nothing complicated about that statement; there are no magic words. Write down what happened, that you relied on counsel. Even if your late appeal is not accepted and you have to start a new application, you can move to "reopen" the first case if it will make a difference in the amount of retroactive benefits. Explaining why the present appeal is late is important, even if you have to later move to reopen.

Best wishes for a favorable outcome, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


If the application date was less than a year ago, I would not receommend trying to file an appeal. I would suggest filing a new claim. here's why - you could be denied good cause on this appeal, and then ask for a hearing. The hearing would be on the issue of good cause for a late appeal - NOT on the issue of whether you are disabled. If you win, then the case would likely be sent back for SSA to get the medical evidence they did not get earlier. The end result - youspend 6 to 12 months or more fighting about this issue before they even start looking at medical evidence.

Or, you could file a new claim, and as my colleague suggests, if it is within 1 year of the denial on the first application, the old applicataion may be automatically reopened, especially unde the facts you describe here. So, you will end up at the same place - a hearin on whether you are disabled - a ,ot sooner that way.

Are you getting a new attorney? You may contact your local city, county or state bar association to see if they have a lawyer referral program, or you may contact the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR) for the name and email address or telephone number of attorneys in your area. The telephone number for the lawyer referral service of NOSSCR is 1-800-431-2804. NOSSCR's website is

In addition, you can find a Board certified specialist in Social Security by contacting the National Board of Trial Advocacy. They evaluate lawyers (independently) in many types of claims and require extensive experience and testing before a lawyer is certified. They have a section specifically for Social Security: The National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy, Divisions of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.

Their link is:

You may also contact NADR (National Association of Disability Representatives) – automated Telephone Referral System at 1-800-747-6131.

Most attorneys who do any amount of Social Security work are members of NOSSCR and provide a free initial consultation. In any event, no attorney may charge a fee for work on a social security claim until it has been approved by Social Security. The fee limit is a maximum of 25% of past due or back due benefits you are owed, and many lawyers charge less than the full 25%, and the money is not paid until your claim has been approved.

I hope this information helps. Good luck to you!
Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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