Smith, V Berryhill

139 S. Ct. 1765 (2019)


P applied for disability benefits under Title XVI in 2012. His claim was denied at the initial-determination stage and upon reconsideration. P requested an ALJ hearing, which the ALJ held in February 2014 before issuing a decision denying P’s claim on the merits in March 2014. P’s attorney says that he sent a letter requesting Appeals Council review in April 2014, well within the 60-day deadline. D says that it has no record of receiving any such letter. D sent a copy of the letter that he assertedly had mailed in April. The SSA (D), noting that it had no record of prior receipt, counted the date of the request as the day that it received the copy. The Appeals Council accordingly determined that P’s submission was untimely, concluded that P lacked good cause for missing the deadline, and dismissed P’s request for review. The District Court held that it lacked jurisdiction in that “an Appeals Council decision to refrain from considering an untimely petition for review is not a ‘final decision’ subject to judicial review in federal court.’” P petitioned the Supreme Court for certiorari. D stated that it had “reexamined the question and concluded that its prior position was incorrect.”