Stage 5: Federal District Court

Federal District Court is the fifth and final option for Social Security Disability Insurance applicants who’ve been denied at all prior stages. In order to get your case reviewed in Federal District Court, you must file within 60 days from the date in which you received notice of denial from the Appeals Council.

How to Get Your Day in Court

To file a case in Federal District Court, you (or your attorney) should submit an official complaint that states the reasons for appealing the denial decision at the Appeals Council review stage. The complaint will be served to the Social Security Administration, who will then send a response to counter the complaint. Supporting legal documents, including a transcript of your Appeals Hearing, are submitted to the court and you are assigned a briefing summary date and time.

If an Oral Argument is requested by the Court, you will need to appear in front of a judge. Having an SSD lawyer present to argue your right to benefits can be extremely beneficial during this courtroom event. Based on the facts presented here, the judge will affirm the denial, reverse the denial and grant you benefits, or remand the case back to the Social Security Administration for further consideration.

Preparing for Federal District Court

Be advised that this request for review may be a lengthy and time-consuming process. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for decisions to take as long as year to be rendered. There is a fee to file, although your SSD attorney may be able to get this fee waived for you. Your lawyer may also be able to present your argument in streamlined, direct manner with the ultimate goal of getting you a timely and favorable decision.

If you lose in Federal District Court, your only option to potentially receive SSD benefits is to start all over with a new application.

To ensure you are fully prepared to appeal a denial of Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, consider putting an experienced SSD lawyer on your side. You can contact an attorney in your area with the help of our expansive legal directory.