Administrative Law Judge Patrick Nagle announced that the Social Security Administration is temporarily suspending dismissals for untimely requests and failures to appear.
Essentially, if your claim for disability or SSI was denied at the request for reconsideration level and you filed a request for hearing but missed the 60-day statute to file the paperwork, you may still be able to proceed! The SSA will allow you to file a statement of good cause for missing the statute. They will consider the reasoning behind the late filing and determine if your case should be allowed to move forward. In the past, if this deadline was missed, they would simply send out a dismissal. If you missed this deadline and already received a dismissal, you can appeal the decision to the Appeals Council. Similarly, if they find that you had good cause for missing the statute, they can remand your case back to the hearing office for scheduling of your hearing.
The same allowance applies to those who were scheduled for a hearing and did not attend. If you can show good cause as to why you missed your hearing, your hearing can be rescheduled.
In the past, once a dismissal had been issued, you were likely faced with starting your case over with a new application. A representative could fight to reopen the older case, but having a dismissal on file would be a tough thing to overcome. You could lose valuable benefits and rights in not pursuing your case properly.
The SSA understands that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed new and challenging burdens on people and thus they have decided to give greater allowances and leeway concerning the above situations.
If either of these situations may apply to you, contact us immediately. Time is of the essence to preserve your rights and file the necessary documents to get your case back on track. We pride ourselves on moving quickly and methodically to ensure our clients are protected. Our office in Vacaville has reopened, and we are ready to see you with all of the necessary safety precautions in place. If you prefer to meet via phone or Zoom, we have those capabilities, as well. As always, we continue to proudly serve Fairfield, Vacaville, Sacramento, Vallejo, Davis and the surrounding cities. Reach us at 707-580-9220 or via our website at MillerDisabilityFirm.com.