Appeals Council Update

April 9, 2014

If an individual loses a disability claim after appearing before an Administrative Law Judge, the next step is an appeal to the Appeals Council.  An individual can fill out a form and write the reasons or you can submit a written brief with more discussion about why the decision is erroneous.

Success at the Appeals Council is difficult.  In the Fiscal Year 2013, review was denied is over 75% of the appeals.  The Appeals Council remanded just over 17% of the appeals, and issued fully or partially favorable decision in just 1.45% of the claims.  That is not a typ0–less than 1 and a half percent of the claims received a fully or partially favorable decision.

These numbers are discouraging and even more frustrating when compared with the prior year’s numbers, which included a remand rate of 18% and a fully/partially favorable combined rate of 1.91%.  It’s not a large difference, but it shows that nothing is improving for people who are seriously disabled and didn’t have a good outcome at their hearing.


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