It depends on when you receive notice from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Before the final decision
- If your application is going to be turned down, you will receive a Pre-Decisional Notice telling you this in advance. This notice will tell you that you may not be eligible for Extra Help and show which information from your application will cause you to be rejected (for example, your income is too high). If you receive this notice and the information is wrong, you can use this opportunity to correct your application.
- You have 10 days from the date on the notice to correct the information. The fastest way is to call or visit your local SSA office (field office). The telephone number and address will be on the notice. You can also call SSA’s national hotline, 800-772-1213.
Once the final decision has been made
- a Notice of Denial saying that you do not qualify; or
- a Notice of Award that says you only qualify for partial Extra Help.
If you disagree with SSA’s decision, you can appeal.
It is best not to reapply for Extra Help in either case. It is important to appeal, because if you win, your Extra Help will be effective from the first day of the month that you originally submitted an application.
To appeal you should
- Request a review of your case (a hearing) within 60 days of receiving notice of SSA’s decision on your application.
You may be able to appeal after 60 days if you have good cause for missing the deadline, for example, if you were very sick, did not understand the time limit, or were physically or mentally unable to file an appeal.
- Set a date for a hearing. Either call your local SSA office or the national hotline. You can also download an online form and mail it in to request a hearing. Generally, SSA will suggest a date at least 20 days from when you make your request, to give you time to prepare. However, you can waive the 20-day preparation period if you want your hearing to be held sooner.
Hearings are held by phone. You will get a notice in the mail that confirms your hearing date and tells you what number to call (the number will be toll-free). This notice will also explain how to send in evidence supporting your case (for example, bank statements that show your assets). If you have a scheduling conflict you can reschedule once or twice if you have good cause (for example, you were in the hospital).
SSA will send you a notice with the final decision on your case. If you still disagree with the decision, you can file an appeal in Federal District Court.
If you do not want a hearing, you can just ask for a case review where an SSA agent will review your application and any additional information you send in.