If you are going through the Social Security Disability application process or applying for disability benefits a second time, you may encounter a roadblock with your appeal. This may lead you to request a further review from the Appeal Council Office of Disability Adjudication and Review.

When an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issues any decision on your case, you will have 60 days to request a review by the Appeal Council Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. If you are using a legal representative to work with you, they can file your appeal with the Social Security Office. If you do not have a lawyer, you will have to complete this appeal form.

At this point, you may want to consider hiring a disability representative such as Crest SSD that can review your ALJ decision and craft a convincing argument to the Appeals Council. A disability representative can also be helpful in spotting errors made in the hearing or along the process to help your case. The appeals process is long and complicated. Your chances of success increase by 75 percent when you utilize the support of a disability representative.

Crest SSD can help you get the benefits you need. Contact us today for immediate assistance!

How Does The Appeals Council Decide To Review Your Case?

To file an appeal with the Social Security Appeals Council, you must complete Form HA-520. In the form, you will have to defend and justify why you feel that the decision made by the ALJ who administered your hearing was not correct.

This level of review is different from the other levels because the main objective of the appeals council is to evaluate the ALJ’s decision. The Appeals Council will review a case if:

  • There appears to be an abuse of discretion by the ALJ.
  • There is an error of law.
  • The conclusions of the ALJ are not supported by substantial evidence.
  • New and material evidence is submitted (the evidence submitted relates to the period on or before the date of the ALJ decision).

Although the appeal can be completed by yourself, we believe it is better to have guidance from a representative. Why? We have found that most applicants who request the review without the help of legal representation are most often denied.

We can help! Fill out this free evaluation form so that we can support your case.

What To Expect From An Appeal Council Review?

The Appeals Council will review your entire case file, the ALJ’s decision, and any additional evidence that you submit. They will examine the case to find any errors and decide to either dismiss, remand to ALJ, or issue a new decision.

Most of the time, requests for review by the Appeal Council will be denied, and the case will not be sent back for another ALJ hearing. However, statistics show that 22% of the time, the Appeals Council will return the case back to the ALJ after conducting a complete review of the ALJ hearing proceedings. This will lead to a new hearing and possibly a new decision.

This decision can be based on possible deficiencies in the ALJ’s decision like making a technical error, failing to consider some of your medical evidence, or any new evidence. Even then, there is a very low probability that the Appeals Council will decide that the ALJ’s decision was wrong, overturn the decision, and approve benefits.

How Long Will The Appeals Council Take?

Every case is different. For some applicants, an Appeals Council review can take a few months while other applicants must wait for more than a year. It typically takes 18 to 24 months to receive a decision from the Appeals Council with an average of about 12 months.

Factors that affect how long the Appeal Council review will take include:

  • Case volume load if there are a large number of cases to review.
  • How many decision-makers are available to support the review.
  • The difficulty or complexity of the case.

Find Out How Crest SSD Can Help You

If your disability hearing was not decided in your favor and you need help with the Appeal Council Office of Disability Adjudication and

Review, contact Crest SSD today to find immediate support.

It is in your best interest to hire a disability representative so that you have legal representation when filing an Appeals Council review.

Increase your chances of a favorable decision by filling out this form for a 100% free no-obligation evaluation. You can also call us at the number above to speak with a live representative. We are here to help!