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What Happens at a Federal Court Review of a Disability Claim?

Nearly 60 to 70 percent of the disability claims that are received by the Social Security Administration (SSA) are denied each year, resulting in the need for a disability appeal. For most Social Security Disability applicants, only two stages of the appeal process are necessary, including a Request for Reconsideration and a disability hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). While nearly two-thirds of disability hearings are decided in the favor of the disability applicant, one-third of applicants are not awarded benefits as a result of this hearing. These applicants must then appeal to the SSA’s appeals council and if that appeal does not work, then a Federal Court Review must be pursued.

The first thing that you must understand is that an appeal at this level is very complicated and should not be pursued without the help of a qualified attorney who practices in Social Security Disability cases. These attorneys understand the laws that pertain to Social Security Disability benefits and how those laws can help your particular disability claim.

The first thing your lawyer will do is file a civil action in the United States District Court. There is more than one District Court in the United States and the court that your lawyer files in will be determined by the district you live in. It is important to understand that this court has the power to reverse the decision to deny your Social Security Disability benefits without making you go through another hearing before an ALJ.

When your Social Security Disability attorney files this action, the Commissioner of Social Security is named as the defendant. During your Federal Court Review, a Federal Judge will review your disability case to determine whether or not the SSA made an error in denying your claim for Social Security Disability benefits. This is why it is so important to have a Social Security attorney representing you at this Review. The attorney will be able to identify the reasons that you should be granted Social Security Disability benefits based on your medical condition, current laws and the procedural issues that can help you obtain the Social Security Disability benefits you need.

It is also important to note that when you pursue your Federal Court Review, this court will not consider new evidence for your disability case. The court will only review the transcript from the administrative law judge hearing and any medical records that were provided up until the point of the hearing that the administrative law judge handled.

Remember, the Federal Court Review is not to determine whether or not you are actually disabled. The purpose of this review is to determine whether or not the proper procedure was followed when your disability hearing was held and whether or not the ALJ who heard your case made an error in denying your disability benefits.

Again, it is important that you have qualified legal representation at this point of the appeal process if you hope to be successful in overturning the SSA’s decision to deny your disability benefits.