Federal Court Appeals of Social Security Disability Claims

What a busy summer!  We are now handling federal court appeals of Social Security Disability claims around the country.  We get a lot of questions about federal court.  So I decided to take some time and post some answers.  I hope you find this helpful!

An Appeal to Federal District court is not a Lawsuit about whether you are disabled….

It is a lawsuit about whether the Social Security Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) made mistakes in ruling that you are not disabled. We will ask the Federal Court to find that the AL’s mistakes made the decision unfair and you deserve a new, fair hearing or an award of benefits without a hearing. The Court generally does not decide whether you are or are not disabled, but sometimes they do award benefits.

You pay no attorney fees until benefits are awarded

When you later are found “disabled” by SSA, 25% of your back pay will be withheld to pay ALL your attorneys. You will never pay more than 25% for all your representation.

What do we need from you to review your case?

  • ALJ decision with exhibit list
  • Appeals Council Decision
  • Appeals Council Brief
  • New evidence submitted to the Appeals Council

You can fax this to us at 877-244-1153.

THE COURT CHARGES TO FILE AN APPEAL

If you cannot afford to pay the filing fee, we can show the court your financial condition and ask that the fee be waived. We will fill out the papers for you with your help. If you do not qualify, we will ask you to pay the filing fee.

WE CANNOT SUBMIT NEW MEDICAL RECORDS TO THE COURT

The court will decide whether the ALJ made mistakes based on the record at the time of the unfavorable decision.

WE DO NOT GO TO A HEARING

Our arguments about the mistakes the ALJ made will be made in writing. We make our arguments first. SSA’s lawyers will make written arguments defending the ALJ’s decision, and then we are allowed to file a written response to their arguments. After all of the arguments are presented, the court will make a written decision.

AN APPEAL TAKES ABOUT 18 MONTHS

Some cases are shorter; some cases are longer. Generally, from the time we file your lawsuit until the court makes a decision, it will be about a year and a half.

If you need more help with Social Security Disability, Call toll-free at 1-800-481-0302.  You can also visit our website.

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