An overview of Federal Court Claims


Denied Appeals Council Case


What Should I Do If My Appeals Council Case Is Denied?

Around 70% of disability cases are denied by the Social Security Administration the first time around. If you happen to fall into this category, going in front of the Appeals Council can give you a better chance of being approved the second time around. But even if you still don’t get the answer you’re looking for, you don’t have to give up. We’ll walk you through the initial process before giving you an idea of what may come next. See how you can get the right people involved in your case, so you don’t have to take no for an answer.

What happens if I’m denied by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)?

You may already know by now that your case can go to the Appeals Council if it was denied by the ALJ. If it’s denied by the Appeals Council, it can be appealed to the Federal District Court. So you essentially have several channels to go through after you’ve made your initial request:

  • Application
  • Reconsideration appeal
  • Request for hearing appeal
  • ALJ hearing
  • Appeals Council (federal court)

Should I file a civil action?

The Social Security Administration will not assist you if you’re planning to appeal. You’re also not allowed to represent yourself in this matter, despite the system’s notorious reputation for its do-it-yourself benefits. Only a federal disability lawyer can file this specific type of appeal. Sometimes, a lawyer may advise you to file a brand-new claim instead of taking the matter to district court. A lawyer can advise you of this based on the merits of your individual case. 

What do I need to file?

When you take a disability case to federal court, you’ll need:

  • A written document that states why the Social Security Administration made a mistake.
  • Copies of the registered complaint and summons issued by the court.
  • A federal disability lawyer with experience in civil actions and the district courts.

The copies of the complaint should be sent to the SSA via certified mail. This ensures that everyone there is aware of the appeal and has time to prepare if need be.

There is no official timeline for a decision when appealing your case, but it typically takes several months to reach final judgment. And while it may be stressful to wait, having the right attorney by your side can make a difference.