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How to Prepare for a Federal District Appeal

November 2, 2020

It is estimated that between 60 and 70% of SSDI applicants receive a denial in the state of Wisconsin. Most of those go on to pursue a federal district appeal. Specifically, a federal district that will look more closely at their case and have an actual person deciding whether or not they receive benefits rather than someone checking off boxes at their desk. But a federal district appeal is really the last step in appeals.

You would only go to a federal district appeal after the Social Security office denied your application. And they also denied your appeal with the administrative law judge and the Appeals Council for disability benefits.  You may pursue an appeal after an administrative law judge denies your disability claim. You also have the right to a federal district appeal even if the Social Security Appeals Council reviews your case. The solution for many people is to take their claim to the Federal Court.

Filing for a Federal District Appeal

There’s a small window to file an appeal with the federal court or an SSDI determination. After the date when the Appeals Council made their decision, you only have 60 days to file a civil complaint. You file that complaint to the United States district court for your area, and then that civil complaint will include a brief or an outline of the facts and allegations about your claim and the denials.

Because of federal law that you can’t outright sue the Social Security Administration. But when you file a complaint against the SSA, it’s the current SSA commissioner who is the defendant. You must have a written complaint, you must file it with the proper court, and you must use a very specific Federal District Court locator to make sure you’re filing correctly.

The Social Security Administration does not provide any help or guidance on filing a complaint or a brief for federal district appeal.

Will You Need a Brief?

Yes, you absolutely need a brief and work closely with a Milwaukee SSDI attorney to craft this brief. The brief is the legal document that explains your situation to the court. With a federal SSA appeal, you’ll likely have multiple breeds throughout the process. Your first brief, the opening brief, should analyze the administrative law judge’s decision and present the medical evidence associated with your claim.

As part of this, you might include testimony or outline where the administrative law judge did not properly review the evidence or apply it to SSDI expectations in terms. You cannot present additional evidence in your opening brief.  The opening brief can make or break a federal appeals claim so it’s vital that you have a legal professional working on this document so it’s compelling, factual, and addresses key points of the appeal.

Who Will Decide Your Case?

Ultimately, a federal judge will give the ruling on your SSA Disability Benefits case. This is the last level of appeals, there is nowhere to go if a judge denies your claim at this level. If the judge rules in your favor, then it reverses the SSA’s denial for your benefits. However, if the judge sides with the Social Security Administration and then he will receive no benefits. There’s a final way that a judge might decide your case. They may send the case back to the Social Security Administration for further review.

The judge you’ll have with a federal appeal will not be an administrative law judge, mediator, and it may not be a local judge. Going to Federal Court may come with a wide variety of fees, and it might call for some travel.

Milwaukee SSDI Attorneys Offer Support

If you’re worried that your claim was denied, and then your appeals were denied, then it’s time to get an attorney involved. Many people don’t realize that they need a social security disability attorney from Wisconsin helping them throughout their case. All too often people believe that they can handle this simple process on their own. But this process only looks easy from the outside. The Social Security Administration has worked very hard to make healthy people feel like disability benefits are readily available and accessible. They’re available, but they’re difficult to access.

When working with Milwaukee SSDI attorneys at Tabak law you can have a full understanding of what might have gone wrong or lead to denials for your application. We’ll work with what happened in your past appeals and take the claim to federal court.  Contact our law offices right here in Milwaukee and let’s get started and handling your case and getting you the benefits you deserve.

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