What does Appeals Council mean?
The Appeals Council, which was established March 1, 1940, is considered the "Supreme Court" of the Social Security Administration. It is comprised of a three member body and is the last review for disability cases within the SSA appeals process. When a claim is sent for review to the Appeals Council the council can choose to grant, deny or dismiss a review for request. They can also remand the case back to the Administrative Law Judge and have them review the case again.
Each year the Appeals Council receives almost 200,000 requests for review and of those request the Appeals Council will approve benefits for approximately 2% of the cases they review. Most applicants, who are denied at the Administrative hearing level, will choose to file a new disability application, but it is important to discuss what is best for your case with a disability lawyer. If you choose to file an appeal with the Appeals Council it could take up to a year to receive their decision. If they deny your case or refuse to hear it you can file a new claim or file your case in federal court. Civil actions must be filed within 60 days from the date you receive the notification of the Appeals Council's decision.