Civil Action Process
If you disagree with the Appeals Council's decision, or if the Appeals
Council decides not to review your case, you can file a civil suit in
a federal district court. This is the last level of the appeals
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. If you do not reside within any such 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. There is a charge for filing
a civil action in Federal court.
As explained in detail in the letter you receive from the Appeals Council, if you file a civil action, you must send us 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 Administrationís Office of the General Counsel that handles the area where the complaint is filed. For information on the office associated with your area, see POMS GN 03106.020 Service of Process.