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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    San Francisco, California, United States
    Posts
    2

    Post How Long Can the Office of the General Counsel Take to Respond to an Appeal

    My husband passed away November 2009 when our adopted daughter was 6 months old and we were still finishing our 6 month home evaluation. Adoption finalized May 2010 (delayed to allow me to grieve) and court allowed his name on adoption order. Initial request for survivor benefits for my daughter submitted February 2011. Denied by payment center. Appeal requested immediately. 15 days given to provide information in May 2011 (submitted May 27, 2011). More information requested and sent November 2011. Follow-up phone call May 2012, still in review.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: How Long Can General Counsel Take to Respond to an Appeal

    Quote Quoting JBS
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    My husband passed away November 2009 when our adopted daughter was 6 months old and we were still finishing our 6 month home evaluation. Adoption finalized May 2010 (delayed to allow me to grieve) and court allowed his name on adoption order.
    So the denial was based upon the fact that the adoption was not completed prior to your husband's death and was thus not his "adoptive child" for purposes of survivor benefits? What findings were made in association with the denial?
    Quote Quoting JBS
    How Long Can General Counsel Take to Respond to an Appeal
    Unfortunately, they can take as long as they want. If this looks like it's not going to be resolved by year's end you can think about hiring a lawyer to file a federal lawsuit trying to compel action, but that's not ideal. You can see if your Member of Congress or U.S. Senator's office can assist - that's free, and you can make the call at any time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    San Francisco, California, United States
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: How Long Can General Counsel Take to Respond to an Appeal

    Thanks Mr. Knowitall! To Respond to your first question (So the denial was based upon the fact that the adoption was not completed prior to your husband's death and was thus not his "adoptive child" for purposes of survivor benefits? What findings were made in association with the denial?), the denial stated the my husband did not live with the child or support her just prior to his death. I believe this was based on the fact that she was born at 28 weeks gestation and was hospitalized in the neonatal unit for the first 2months of her life. While we me her and started the adoption process the first day of her life, and she was discharged to our home, her social security card went to her birthmother's home, so SS must have thought that was where she lived since we couldn't apply for a new card until after the adoption was complete. The myriad of records sent with the appeal included documentation of her discharge into our care, initial pediatrician registration with our address and both of us listed as parent and numerous letters from the adoption agency, birthmother and neighbors attesting to the fact that she was living with us from discharge.

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