There are more than three million claims for Social Security Disability benefits backlogged in the Social Security system. Each year, millions of additional Social Security Disability claims are received by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Unfortunately, the majority of these claims are denied. In fact, approximately 70 percent of the claims received by the SSA are not approved. If your claim for Social Security Disability benefits is one of the many that are denied, you will need to pursue the lengthy and stressful appeal process in order to obtain the benefits you may be rightfully entitled to.
While the majority of appeals are won at the disability hearing stage of the Social Security Disability appeal process, some applicants must pursue further appeal options. This is where a request for a federal court review comes into play. The following information will help you understand the process of filing a federal court review.
Filing the Civil Action
In order to request a federal court review of your Social Security Disability case, you or your attorney will need to file a civil action in the district court of the United States. You will file this action in the district court that handles the judicial district in which you live. If you do not live in an area that has a judicial district, then you will have to file the action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
Up until now, filing appeals has probably cost you nothing more than a few postage stamps. That is about to change. When you file a civil action at this stage of the Social Security Disability appeal process, there is a filing fee and you will be responsible for paying it. In some cases, if you cannot afford this fee, you may be able to get the court to waive the fee for you.
Once you have filed the action in the court, you will need to send the SSA copies of the complaint that was filed and the summons that was issued by the court. These copies have to be sent to the SSA via certified or registered mail.
Working with an Attorney
If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits at the hearing stage of the disability appeal process, you may or may not be working with a qualified disability attorney. If you are not yet working with an attorney, now is the time to consider hiring proper legal representation. Statistics show that individuals who work with a qualified disability attorney are more likely to be awarded disability benefits than applicants who try to represent themselves.
If you are working with a Social Security Disability attorney, and it is highly recommended that you do have legal representation at this stage of the appeal process, the attorney will take care of filing the necessary paperwork with the court and will ensure that the proper Social Security representative receives the copy of the complaint and the summons. They will also represent you during the actual hearing before the court and will ensure that your case is handled properly.
This stage of the disability appeal process is the most complicated. It is in your best interests to have proper legal representation when pursing a federal court review of your Social Security Disability claim. This is the last stage of the appeal process and the last thing you want to do is lose your case due to a lack of legal knowledge.