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I'm sorry to hear that you are going through this. Yes, you have options.
You can argue (using names, dates, times) that when you called to follow up (documented by your phone bill, and possibly their copy of the recorded call) you were told that, under the circumstances you could re-submit, which you then did. That phone call will constitue a waiver of enforcement of the 28 day period. Waiver is further evidenced by the letter you received following the second submission. Any documentation that you have in support of the fact that you did indeed submit the document timely, to begin with should be used as a first line of defense. A copy of the original hearing request is a good start, a photograph of the computer saved copy with the last saved date, the created date or both is also good. When paired with a dated text message or email on the date it was first sent, telling a friend or family memeber that you just sent it, the evidence in your favor gets stronger.
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