The majority of the disability claims that are received by the Social Security Administration (SSA) are denied at the initial stage of the disability application process. Because of this, most disability applicants will need to appeal the SSA's decision to deny benefits if they hope to receive the Social Security Disability payments they may be rightfully entitled to. However, there is a time frame in which an appeal must be filed. If the appeal is not filed within the proper time frame, the Social Security Disability applicant will once again have to file an initial disability claim with the SSA (and the odds are that the claim will once again be denied and an appeal will need to be filed in the future).
A disability applicant has 65 days from the date of being denied Social Security Disability benefits to file an appeal. The Controlling Date is the date used to determine when that 65-day period begins. This is usually the date that your determination letter is sent out to you. If your disability claim is denied, you have 65 days from the date that the SSA mails out their decision of denial to have your appeal forms back to the Social Security office.
You can find out what your Controlling Date is by looking at the denial letter you receive from the SSA. The Controlling Date will be located in the upper-right-hand corner of the denial letter. If the SSA does not receive your appeal within 65 days of this date, you will either have to explain why you were unable to file your appeal in a timely manner or you will have to start a new claim for disability benefits and start over from day one of the application process.
When looking at your Controlling Date and filing your disability appeal, make sure that you allow enough time for the SSA to receive the appeal paperwork back in their office. For example, if you mail your paperwork back on day 63, they may not receive the appeal on time. You should allow at least five to ten days when mailing your appeal forms to ensure that the SSA receives your appeal paperwork within the required time frame.