Appealing After a Hearing
Even if you are unfortunate enough to be denied benefits after a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge, you still have some avenues to further appeal your case.
Your Social Security disability representative can file a request for your case to be reviewed by the Social Security Administration’s Appeals Council in Falls Church, Virginia. This option has some limitations, however. While in some cases, you may submit new evidence for the Appeal Council’s review, the Appeal Council usually reviews only the existing record to check for any error in judgment on the part of the Administrative Law Judge. Your Social Security disability representative will not be given an opportunity to give an oral argument.
In addition, the Appeals Council reserves to right to refuse a case, at which point the denial from the hearing becomes the Social Security Administration’s final say on the matter, subject to no further internal review. If the Appeals Council accepts a case to review, they might reverse or modify the decision, but they also might affirm the denial or remand it for another hearing.
If the Appeal Council declines to review your case, or if it makes a decision you find unsatisfactory, the last option you have to pursue benefits is in civil court. If you believe you have a good case, you may sue the Social Security Administration for disability benefits at a United States District Court. If you win your lawsuit, the court has the power to modify or reverse the Social Security Administration’s final decision.
If the District Court’s decision is unfavorable, you may then appeal the District Court’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals. For most people this is the final chance to reverse a benefits denial. If the Court of Appeals does not find in your favor, you may petition the United States Supreme Court to hear your case. It is extremely rare for these petitions to be granted, but it is not impossible: the Supreme Court has reviewed a few of the Social Security cases sent to it.
Even if you’re denied disability benefits at the hearing level, don’t give up hope. Get the help you need from the experienced Social Security disability representatives at GENEX Services. For a free initial consultation, please contact us today or simply fill out the form on this page.