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Appeals Council

You may have received an unfavorable decision from an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who found that you are not disabled. Do not give up - you can appeal this decision to the Social Security Administration's Appeals Council (AC).

As with appeals for the Reconsideration and Hearing Stages, a request for a review of the ALJ's decision must be made within 60 days after you receive the decision. A request for review must be done in writing and can be completed online. It is rare, but the AC might also decide to review your case on its own initiative. It usually takes around 1 year to receive a decision from the AC.

What is the Appeals Council?

The AC is composed of Appeals Officers and Administrative Appeals Judges, who look for errors in an ALJ's decision and determine what, if any, actions must be taken to remedy the situation.

You can also submit additional evidence to the AC. The AC will review a case based upon additional evidence if the evidence is new, material, related to the period on or before the hearing decision, and there is a reasonable probability that the evidence would change the outcome of the decision.

After receiving a request for review, the AC will either grant, deny, or dismiss the request for review. In fiscal year 2020, slightly less than 16% of cases were granted review.

Upon granting review, the AC can remand a case back to the ALJ for further action, including instructing the ALJ to offer an opportunity for a new hearing and issue a new decision. Remand is by far the most common action that the AC will take when granting review, as approximately 14.5% of cases were remanded by the AC in fiscal year 2020.

The AC can also grant review and issue a corrective decision. When issuing a corrective decision, the AC can reverse the ALJ decision and issue a fully favorable decision. If the AC decides to issue a corrective decision that is less than fully favorable to you, they will send a notice of proposed action to you (and your representative) that will afford an opportunity to respond prior to the issuance of the decision from the AC.

Contact The Moss Disability Group

Aaron Moss, the founder of The Moss Disability Group, worked as an attorney advisor at the Social Security Administration. During his tenure at the Social Security Administration, Aaron had a detail at the Appeals Council, where he reviewed more than 150 ALJ decisions and provided recommendations to Appeals Officers and Administrative Appeals Judges. Because of his experience at the AC, Aaron is able to spot errors in ALJ decisions and present persuasive arguments to the AC in support of remand or reversal.

Contact The Moss Disability Group to see if we can help you receive the disability you deserve.

Key Takeaways

  • You can file your request for review of the ALJ decision online.
  • It generally takes around 1 year to receive a decision from the Appeals Council (AC).
  • Approximately 16% of cases are granted review by the AC. Approximately 14.5% of cases were remanded back to an ALJ for further proceedings.
  • It is important to have a representative who is able to spot errors in the ALJ's decision and make persuasive arguments to the AC in support of remand or reversal.

Contact Us Today

The Moss Disability Group was founded on the principle that every disabled person should have access to quality legal representation.

We offer a FREE CONSULTATION and we will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us to schedule an appointment.