Need Help in Your Claim for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income?


The Social Security Appeals Council Review and the Federal Court


If the administrative law judge (ALJ) who hears your disability case issues an unfavorable decision, either you or your Jacksonville Social Security disability attorney can ask for the Appeals Council to review that decision. The Appeals Council, which is located inFalls Church,Virginia, may decide to review the decision of the ALJ and can affirm, change, reverse, or remand it for a new hearing. However, the Appeals Council may refuse to review the decision; and if that happens, the ALJ’s decision will become the final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security on the claim (subject to court review).

Keep in mind that in some cases, the Appeals Council may, on its own motion, decide to review the ALJ’s decision, regardless of whether it is favorable or unfavorable to the claimant. Also, new evidence can be submitted to the Appeals Council if it is applicable to the time before the date of the ALJ’s decision. Reviews by the Council are almost always a review of the record only, and even though there is a provision of law that allows for claimants or their attorneys or representatives to petition to appear before the Appeals Council, oral arguments are almost never granted.

Should the Appeals Council decide not to review your case or if it makes a decision that is unfavorable to you, you may actually go a step further and file a civil action in the United States District Court in the district where you live. At the federal level, the court has the power to affirm, amend or overturn the decision of the Commissioner, with or without another rehearing.

If the U.S. District Court affirms the Social Security Administration’s decision and grants a judgment to the Commissioner, you may then appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the district court sits. Further, if the Court of Appeals denies your case, you or your attorney may file a petition for certiorari with the United States Supreme Court.

If you need an experienced Jacksonville Social Security disability attorney, please call Chantal Harrington at (904) 997-6077 for a free consultation.


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