Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Showing “Good Cause” on Your Disability Claim in San Francisco

When filing a claim with the Social Security Administration (SSA) in San Francisco, an applicant may be required to show “good cause” for missing a deadline, reopening a claim, or failing to comply with procedures. Failure to do so may result in the dismissal of a claim.

The Basics:

“Good cause” is a reasonable explanation for non-compliance. Generally, a good reason is a matter of common sense. Some instances are:

(1) Serious illness

(2) Death in the immediate family

Helpful Examples

For failure to make required reports, the following may be considered good cause:

(1) Misleading action of SSA

(2) Confusion regarding requirements

(3) Physical, mental or educational limitation

(4) Non English Speaking applicant

(5) Destruction of records by to fire

For missing filing deadlines, the following may be considered:

(1) Misleading actions of SSA

(2) Confusion of requirements

(3) Physical, mental and linguistic limitations

(4) Non English-speaking

Appeal deadlines are normally 60 days from the date on the last notice of denial. SSA presumes that a claimant received the notice within 5 days. But if a claimant can show they did not receive the notice within 5 days, or at all, that may prove to be good cause.

SSA may re-open a previously closed claim if one of the following occurs:

(1) New and material evidence exists

(2) Proof that a clerical error was made by the Administration or

(3) Clear error in the evidence used in deciding your claim

Reasonableness is the Standard:

Other situations may also be considered good cause. The rule of thumb is that the explanation given must be reasonable (i.e. someone in a similar situation would act in the same way). SSA understands that claimants are disabled, and will generally find good cause where a reasonable explanation is provided.

Disability Group, Inc. was founded on the principles of dignity and respect. We are a national law firm focused exclusively on helping people receive the Social Security Disability benefits they deserve. For more information about Social Security, or to see if you qualify for benefits, visit us at www.socialsecuritylaw.com.

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