Last Update: 9/08/05 (Transmittal I-3-36)
The Appeals Council may review a case:
when a claimant or representative files a request for review of an Administrative Law Judge's (ALJ's) decision or dismissal; or
on its own motion. The Appeals Council must mail the own motion review notice within 60 days after the date of an ALJ's decision or order of dismissal.
The Appeals Council may assume jurisdiction to review a case for any reason. It will review a case if:
there appears to be an abuse of discretion by the ALJ;
there is an error of law;
the action, findings or conclusions of the ALJ are not supported by substantial evidence; or
there is a broad policy or procedural issue that may affect the general public interest.
In addition, if new and material evidence is submitted which relates to the period on or before the date of the ALJ's hearing decision, the Appeals Council shall evaluate the entire record. It will assume jurisdiction if it finds that the ALJ's action, findings, or conclusion is contrary to the weight of the evidence currently of record. (See I-3-3-6 regarding new and material evidence.)
The Appeals Council may deny or dismiss a claimant's request for review. After assuming jurisdiction on its own motion or by granting a claimant's request for review, the Appeals Council may:
Issue a decision which affirms, modifies, or reverses the hearing decision.
Remand the case to an ALJ to obtain additional evidence, to conduct further proceedings, and to issue a new decision.
Dismiss the claimant's request for hearing for any reason for which the ALJ could have dismissed the request for hearing.