When railroad workers here in the U.S. develop disabilities that keep them from working, one option for financial relief they may be able to pursue is making a claim for disability benefits with the Railroad Retirement Board.
Now, sometimes, a person’s initial claim is denied. It is important to know that this doesn’t mean that the person has to give up on the possibility of getting benefits. Denials of Railroad Retirement Board disability claims can be appealed.
Today, we’ll be discussing one of the important sets of rules on such appeals: Time limits.
The standard time limits for appeals
The Railroad Retirement Board has a three-stage appeals process when it comes to claims denials:
- Stage One: Reconsideration
- Stage Two: Appeal with the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals
- Stage Three: Appeal with the three-member Board
For each of these stages, there is a 60-day deadline to make a request to begin that stage. For the first stage, the clock for this deadline starts ticking on the mailing date of the notice that the initial claim was denied. For the second and third stages, the clock starts when the notice of the decision from the previous stage is mailed.
As a note, if a person goes through all the stages of the appeals process and is still not happy with the decision, pursuing a review by a federal court can be an option. This comes with its own set of deadlines.
The consequences of missing a deadline
Once one of the time limits in the three-stage appeals process passes without a person making a request for appeal, he or she generally loses his or her ability to make further appeals. An exception to this is if a person can show that he or she had good cause for missing the deadline.
So, when appealing disability claims, being aware of and meeting the various time limits for making appeals requests is critical.
Avoiding mistakes when appealing denials
This underscores how costly mistakes (such as missing deadlines) can be when trying to get a denial of benefits reversed. So, taking measures to avoid mistakes can be critical for those appealing a denied claim. Skilled disability benefits attorneys can provide guidance on what steps can be taken on this front.