Appeals Council and Federal Court

Appeals Council

If you attended a disability hearing and received an Unfavorable Decision, call us. You have only 60 days to request review of that decision by the Appeals Council.  The Appeals Council grants review and Remands fewer than 20% of all cases. At this step of the process, the Appeals Council generally is not re-evaluating whether you are disabled, but is reviewing the Judge’s written decision for legal and factual errors. Skilled Representation is critical to highlight those errors.

The Appeals Council will review a case only under certain circumstances. We have experience finding reasons to support your Request for Review, and we monitor the errors that the Appeals Council is most likely to find warrant a new hearing.


Federal Court

You are entitled to Judicial Review of your claim.

The final step of the appeals process is to bring your case to federal court.

If the Appeals Council denies your request for review or affirms your unfavorable decision, you may ask for court review. You have 60 days from the date you receive your denial to file an appeal. Court Review is triggered by filing a civil action in the federal district court where you live. The decision to appeal to a federal court depends on the facts and circumstances in your case. In some instances it may be the last chance to preserve your claim.

The Court will review Social Security’s unfavorable decision and determine whether errors were made in evaluating your claim. The Court generally will not focus on determining whether you are disabled, but whether SSA made legal or factual errors that may have affected the outcome of your case. The federal court can reverse your denial of benefits and send your case back to be reviewed by an administrative law judge for a new decision.

You don’t have to accept an Appeals Council denial as a final answer on your claim.

Contact us today to discuss your federal court appeal. An experienced attorney can prepare a brief on your behalf identifying the legal and factual errors in the Administrative Law Judge’s decision that should entitle you to a new hearing. 

Call us today: (206) 485-4066