Friday, August 15, 2008

Can I File a New Disability Application While my Case is at the Appeals Council?

Not only can you file a new disability application while your case is at the Appeal Council, it is advisable to file a new initial disability claim while waiting for your Appeals Council decision. The Appeals Council Review is the only appeal level that allows a new initial disability claim to be filed while awaiting the appeal decision.

The Appeals Council is made up of thirty-three Appeal Judges, twenty-six appeal officers, and a large staff of support workers. Although, this may seem like a lot of employees, last year alone the Appeals Council reviewed over 100,000 appeal requests, along with other quality reviews, policy interpretations, and court functions.

However, many Appeals Council requests are never even heard by an appeal judge, as most appeals returned as "request for review denied". In most cases, the best outcome of such an appeal will be that the appeals council may decide to return the case to the hearing office from which it came for a second hearing. This is known as a remand.

Very few requests for Appeals Council review end in an approval for Social Security disability benefits. Therefore, the best advice for any individual who is still interested in pursuing their disability claim after an administrative law judge hearing denial, is to file a new initial claim.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog


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