When the hearing decision is appealed, the Appeals Council will review the decision to determine if the Judge made any mistakes while adjudicating your claim. The Appeals Council will reverse or confirm the Judge’s decision, or remand the case back to the Judge for another hearing.
The Appeals Council is headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia with additional offices in Baltimore, Maryland and Crystal City, Virginia. It is responsible for overseeing the appeals of all of the unfavorable hearing decisions issued nationwide. Currently, the Appeals Council is made up of approximately 70 Administrative Appeals Judges, 56 Appeals Officers, and several hundred support personnel.
Submitting additional evidence and/or comments with the request for review can shorten the review process at this level. From start to finish, it can take as little as six months and as long as three years. The average processing time in fiscal year 2011 was 360 days.
The Social Security regulations require that your request for review of the Administrative Law Judge’s hearing decision must be made in writing within 60 days of the hearing decision. If you do not appeal on time, the Appeals Council may dismiss your appeal. This means that you may not be eligible for the next step in the appeal process. Don’t leave your appeal up to chance. Get it right the first time and don’t risk having to wait. Get help from Social Security Attorney Rob Levine. Call today to find the closest office location.