Appeals Council

Definition - What does Appeals Council mean?

The Appeals Council is the third and last administrative decisional level under the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) where a claimant can file an appeal if their disability claim was denied by the administrative law judge (ALJ). The Appeals Council doesn’t evaluate the merit of a disability claim. Instead, it determines if the ALJ who denied the claimant’s disability claim made an error.

Justipedia explains Appeals Council

When a claimant’s disability claim is denied by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA), they have the option to schedule a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ) for their claim. If their disability is denied even after the hearing with the ALJ, the claimant can file an appeal with the SSA’s Appeals Council. The Appeals Council is based in Falls Church, Virginia. It consists of over 50 Administrative Appeals Judges and over 50 Appeals Officers who handle Appeals Council reviews for the entire country. The role of Appeals Council is only to evaluate if the ALJ presiding over the claimant’s case made an error in declining disability benefits. A claimant has 60 days from the date of receiving the ALJ's decision to file an appeal with the Appeals Council.

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