As a safety precaution during the coronavirus pandemic, all Social Security offices are closed to visitors until further notice. But just because offices are closed doesn’t mean you can’t, or shouldn’t, still exercise your right to appeal Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits decisions or determinations.
Appealing a Disability Benefits Decision
If your benefits payments have stopped or changed, you may appeal even if the deadline for appeal has passed (generally 10 days after receiving a letter stating your benefits were being changed or stopped).
The quickest and easiest way to file an appeal is online at the Social Security Administration website’s Appeal a Decision page. To request a reconsideration of a medical determination, visit the appropriate pages on the SSA website to start a new appeal. To request reconsideration of a non-medical determination, start a non-medical appeal.
Follow the instructions to complete and submit the appeal electronically. If you are filing after the appeal deadline has passed, be sure to include a statement on the appeal request that explains why you are filing your request late. During the COVID-19 pandemic, SSA will extend good cause for late filing in many situations.
If your reconsideration has already been decided and you would like to appeal the decision, you may request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). Social Security hearing offices are currently closed to the public, so in-person services are not being offered at hearing offices. Instead, you may choose either a telephone hearing or an online video hearing. The SSA website provides more information about these options.
Send Appeal Forms by Mail
If you’d rather not complete forms online, you may instead download, complete, and print appeals forms and mail them to your local Social Security office. If you have missed the appeal deadline, be sure to include a statement on the appeal request (or on a separate sheet of paper that you include with the appeal request) that explains why you are filing your request late.
If you still have questions about filing an appeal online, call your local office. Staff members are still available by phone during the pandemic.
The appeals process can be complicated. The helpful, experienced attorneys at Ladas & Hoopes can help you make sense of the process and increase your chances of receiving a favorable decision. Contact Ladas & Hoopes to schedule a free consultation to discuss social security disability, supplemental security income, or any of our other services.