Federal Court Review Process

If you disagree with the Appeals Council’s decision, or if the Appeals Council decides not to review your claim for Social Security disability benefits, you can file a civil lawsuit in a federal district court. This is the beginning of last level of the appeals process: suing the Social Security Administration in Federal Court.

The civil action is filed in the district court of the United States for the judicial district in which you reside or where you have your principal place of business.

In Pensacola and Northwest Florida, our district court is:

United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida
Pensacola Division
One North Palafox St.
Pensacola, Florida 32502

Clerk’s Office
Clerk of Court – Jessica J. Lyublanovits:  (850) 435-8440
Front Desk:  (850) 435-8440
Fax Number:  (850) 433-5972

If you do not reside within a judicial district or if you do not have your principal place of business within any such judicial district, the civil action must be filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

As explained in detail in the notice you receive from the Appeals Council, if you file a civil action, you must send Social Security copies of the complaint you filed and of the summons issued by the court. These copies must be sent by certified or registered mail to the Social Security Administration’s Office of the General Counsel that handles the area where the complaint is filed.

Is There a Filing Fee to Bring a Lawsuit?

There is a filing fee or charge for filing a civil action in Federal court.

Is There a Time Limit To File a Civil Action?

If the Appeals Council denies your request for review or issues an unfavorable decision, you may file a civil action in U.S. District Court within 60 days after you receive notice of the Council’s action in the case. The Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR) prepares the certified record for the Courts in such cases.

General Statistics on Federal Court Claims:

Social Security had 1,213 new court cases pending at the end of fiscal year 2012 (as of September 2012).

Social Security received 16,422 new court cases during fiscal year 2012, which ran from October 2011 to September 2012.

Social Security processed 15,491 new court cases during fiscal year 2012, which ran from October 2011 – September 2012.

Attorney in Federal Court Claims:

Nick A. Ortiz is an attorney in Pensacola who handles Social Security disability Federal Court claims. Call the Ortiz Law Firm today at (850) 308-7833 for a free consultation.