The Appeals Council will review the administrative law judge’s decision and the evidence in your file. The Appeals Council does not hold a new hearing, but rather reviews the evidence to ensure that the administrative law judge did not err in applying the regulations to the facts in your case. You can submit written arguments to the Appeals Council stating why the administrative law judge’s decision was in err. After the Appeals Council reviews your case, it will notify you of its decision. The Appeals Council may uphold the administrative law judges decision, reverse the administrative law judge’s decision and find that you are disabled, or send your case back to the administrative law judge for a new hearing. Approximately 80% of all claims brought to the Appeals Council are denied.
Due to administrative delays, it can take from 18-36 months for your claim to be reviewed by the Appeals Council. If you receive an unfavorable decision from the Appeals Council, you can request that the Federal Court review your case.