SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY FEDERAL COURT ACTIONS
Your claim for SSI and/or SSDI has been denied by the Social Security Administration (SSA) at Initial Review, upon Reconsideration, before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), and by the highest administrative tribunal, the Appeals Council (AC). You have exhausted all possible administrative remedies and, despite having been unable to work for an extended period of time, retroactive benefits, continuing disability payments and associated medical insurance coverage have been elusive. You wonder- should I give up? Not just yet. Stay strong and please read on.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
The Social Security Act and Regulations provide a framework and procedure whereby a claimant can pursue in Federal Court a denied SSI and/or SSDI application judicially (as opposed to administratively before the SSA). Although you have, no doubt, been frustrated by the long wait, your initial application stays alive and well for a limited period after the AC denial.
During that period, you have the opportunity to hire an attorney to file a complaint in Federal District Court asking for a reversal of the denial of benefits or a remand to the SSA to give you another bite at the apple. We at Green & Greenberg have a Division specifically devoted to Federal Court disability litigation. We will help you decide on the merits of an appeal and can simultaneously help you to file a new application for benefits. You do not have to choose one of those options over the other at this level.
The civil complaint must be filed in the U.S. District Court which has jurisdiction based on your residence. At Green & Greenberg we are equipped to represent clients at U.S. District Courts through our Division’s individual attorneys or through affiliation with lawyers around the country.
A complaint must be filed within sixty 60 days of receipt of the AC denial, unless an extension of time is granted, based on certain specified grounds, by the AC or the Court.
Under federal law, a claimant cannot sue the SSA directly. The defendant in a civil complaint against the SSA is whomever the current Social Security Commissioner happens to be when the complaint is filed. Once the complaint is filed in Court, a summons will be issued and served, and the Office of General Counsel (OGC) will decide whether to defend the denial or consent to a remand or reversal. At Green & Greenberg we have been successful on many occasions at getting the OGC to voluntarily remand the case to an ALJ to reconsider the issues involved in the original application.
If, on the other hand, the OGC decides to contest the complaint, memoranda of law will be filed and there may be oral argument (not a trial where you would need to appear) before a District Court Magistrate or Judge who will issue a written decision thereafter.
WHICH COURT WILL HEAR FURTHER APPEALS?
If there is a decision in favor of the defendant, you are still permitted further judicial appeals to the U.S. Circuit Court covering your District, and then to the United States Supreme Court as a last resort where necessary. Believe it or not, persistence has paid off for many applicants and there is now a substantial body of favorable law which has been created through litigation by claimants like you declining to give up in Federal Court. In many cases, that growing body of law has provided deserving and patient claimants large retroactive awards because they have retained their original application date by refusing to concede benefits from the onset of their disability.
WHO CAN YOU CALL?
Green & Greenberg employs attorneys who have practiced extensively in Federal Courts and have even successfully argued and won landmark Federal Court Cases. Our skilled and knowledgeable lawyers are uniquely qualified through their years of practice to help decide which cases merit the long haul through the Federal Judiciary. There is never a fee unless successful, initial consultations are always free, and we pride ourself on having a full staff of excellent professionals, paraprofessionals and administrators with whom you will always find it easy to work.
We strongly believe that if unable to work more than just on a sporadic basis due to injury, illness or disability, you deserve a lawyer’s help to obtain the benefits to which you are entitled – no matter to which administrative or judicial stage we must fight. We can help you with your Federal Court Action!
Start by reaching out to Green & Greenberg Today