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Avard Law Offices | Social Security Disability & Personal Injury Attorneys | South Florida
Avard Law Offices | Social Security Disability & Personal Injury Attorneys | South Florida
Federal Court Attorneys2024-01-19T13:23:33+00:00

Federal Court SSD Attorneys

Understanding the Federal Court Hearing Level in Social Security Disability Cases

When a Social Security Disability (SSD) case escalates to a Federal Court hearing, it signifies a critical stage in the legal process. This level of hearing is reached when all previous attempts at obtaining disability benefits, including initial applications and appeals, have been unsuccessful. At this juncture, the case transitions from an administrative setting to the federal judiciary system, where it is subject to a different set of rules and procedures.

The journey to a Federal Court hearing often starts with an initial denial of the SSD claim, followed by a reconsideration, and if necessary, a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). If the ALJ’s decision is unfavorable, the claimant can request a review by the Appeals Council. Only after the Appeals Council denies the request for review, or issues an unfavorable decision, does the opportunity to file a lawsuit in Federal District Court arise.

The Significance of Winning or Losing at the Federal Court Level

Winning at the Federal Court level can mean a remand (sending the case back) to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for further review with specific instructions, or it can result in a direct award of benefits. A victory at this stage not only affirms the claimant’s right to disability benefits but also sets a precedent that can positively influence similar cases in the future.

Conversely, losing at this level can be disheartening as it often represents the final legal avenue within the SSD system. However, options may still exist, such as filing a new disability claim or, in rare instances, appealing to a higher court like the U.S. Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court.

The Rarity of Attorneys Admitted at the Federal Court Level

Representation at the Federal Court level is a specialized legal area. Only a fraction of attorneys practicing SSD law are admitted to practice in Federal Court. This admission requires not only a deep understanding of complex federal procedural laws but also the ability to effectively argue legal and factual issues in a federal judicial setting.

The Importance of NBTA Board Certification in SSD

The National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) certification is a testament to an attorney’s expertise, experience, and commitment to excellence in their field. For SSD, this certification indicates a profound understanding of the intricacies of disability law, a proven track record of representing claimants, and the ability to handle complex and challenging cases, including those at the Federal Court level. Attorneys at Avard Law Offices, being board certified by the NBTA in SSD, bring a level of expertise and credibility that is paramount in these high-stakes cases.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when your disability case goes to federal court?2023-04-21T02:43:35+00:00

Generally, the defendant (Social Security Administration) has 60 days after the plaintiff (disability claimant) files their complaint in District Court to file a complete transcript of the actions taken and testimony given before the agency.

After that, the plaintiff has 30 days to file a brief containing legal arguments and statements of fact.

After that, the Defendant has another 30 days to file their brief containing legal arguments and statements of fact.

Either party may ask the court for an extension of time to file their briefs.  Generally, the court will grant an extension of 30 days at least once.

Once all the briefs are filed, typically it takes the Court approximately 6 months or more to issue a decision.

What kind of a decision does the court make?2023-04-21T02:44:06+00:00

Generally, the court will either deny the claim or issue a remand (send the case back) to the administrative agency (Social Security’s Appeals Council).  The remand order will state what legal issues warranted the remand to the agency.

How long does it take after the Court’s order to remand before the Appeals Council issues a remand to the Administrative Law Judge?2023-04-21T02:44:57+00:00

It typically takes 90-180 days for the Appeals Council to issue a notice of remand.

Once the hearing office for that Administrative Law Judge is notified by the Appeals Council that a case has been remanded, it could take approximately 6 months or even 9 months before a new hearing is scheduled.

Once the hearing has been held, if nothing additional is needed for evidence, it typically takes 30-90 days for the hearing office to issue a decision.

Once the ALJ favorable decision is issue, it generally takes a couple of months before a check for monthly benefits is received.

All attorneys’ fees are approved by the ALJ in the ALJ’s decision.

How long does it take before you will receive a check for benefits after receiving the ALJ’s favorable decision?2023-04-21T02:45:40+00:00

If you receive a partially favorable or fully favorable decision by the Administrative Law Judge, Award Notice(s) will be issued by the payment center and/or the local Social Security office.  If your claim involves SSI, a financial update will be scheduled and once SSA receives all documents, it may take 30 – 60 days to issue the Award Notice and issue your first check.  SSI is typically paid before the disability benefits pursuant to Title II. The Title II Award Notices are issued by the payment center. If you have a disability claim pursuant to Title II only, an Award Notice and payment are typically issued in approximately 45-90 days or so. Could be less time or may take additional time. In the event that you are entitled to benefits under both Title XVI (SSI) Title II, the Title II benefits will not be paid until the SSI Award Notice and benefits have been calculated.   Keep in mind that it is imperative that SSA have your correct bank account information for direct deposit.

If there are additional documents needed, this may take longer to receive payment, i.e. workers compensation benefits information and anything additional that SSA may need to process the Award Notices and payment.

If the court denies the claim what may happen next?2023-04-21T02:46:10+00:00

The plaintiff may appeal if the attorney decides there is merit to an appeal.  Unless the claimant is from a different Circuit, the Appeal will generally go to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia.

Why Choose Avard Law Offices for Your SSD Federal Court Case

  1. Experience in High-Volume Litigation: Avard Law Offices stands out for consistently suing the Federal Government more than twice a week on average. This high volume of litigation showcases not only the firm’s deep understanding of SSD law but also their relentless commitment to defending their clients’ rights.
  2. Expertise at the Federal Court Level: The rarity of attorneys admitted to practice at this level underscores the specialized knowledge and skills possessed by the legal team at Avard Law. Their ability to navigate the complexities of federal court proceedings sets them apart.
  3. NBTA Board Certification: The board certification of Avard Law’s attorneys by the NBTA in SSD law is a mark of their proficiency and dedication. This distinction means that clients receive representation backed by a recognized standard of excellence.
  4. Client-Centric Approach: Avard Law Offices prioritize the needs and objectives of their clients. They understand the impact of SSD benefits on the lives of the disabled and are committed to providing personalized and compassionate legal representation.
  5. Proven Track Record: The firm’s consistent practice of challenging denials in federal court demonstrates their tenacity and effectiveness in securing favorable outcomes for their clients.
  6. Strategic Legal Insight: The experience gained from frequent litigation against the Federal Government has equipped Avard Law Offices with unique insights into the legal strategies that work best in SSD cases.
  7. Commitment to Justice: Avard Law is dedicated to upholding the rights of the disabled. They are not intimidated by the challenge of taking on the federal government and are committed to ensuring that justice is served for their clients.

Get a Free Consultation Today

Navigating the complexities of SSD Federal Court hearings requires not just legal knowledge but a specialized set of skills and experience. Avard Law Offices, with our NBTA board-certified attorneys, high-volume litigation practice, and profound commitment to clients, stand out as a leading choice for representation in these critical cases. Call, email or chat us today to get started!


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