I-3-3-1.Bases for Appeals Council Grant Review Action

Last Update: 11/21/14 (Transmittal I-3-86)

Pursuant to 20 CFR 404.970(a) and 416.1470(a), the Appeals Council will grant review of a case if:

  • There appears to be an abuse of discretion by the administrative law judge (ALJ) (see Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-3-3-2);

  • There is an error of law (see HALLEX I-3-3-3);

  • The action, findings, or conclusions of the ALJ are not supported by substantial evidence (see HALLEX I-3-3-4); or

  • There is a broad policy or procedural issue that may affect the general public interest.

Additionally, if the claimant submits additional evidence that is new, material, and relates to the period on or before the date of the ALJ decision, the Appeals Council will evaluate the additional evidence with the entire record. For the definitions of additional evidence that is new, material, and related to the period at issue, see HALLEX I-3-3-6. The Appeals Council will review the case if it finds that the ALJ's action, findings, or conclusion is contrary to the weight of the evidence currently of record. See 20 CFR 404.970(b) and 416.1470(b).

When the Appeals Council grants review, the Appeals Council will take one of the following actions:

  • Issue a fully favorable, partially favorable, or unfavorable decision (HALLEX I-3-8);

  • Remand the case to an ALJ (HALLEX I-3-7); or

  • Dismiss the claimant's request for hearing for any reason for which the ALJ could have dismissed the request for hearing (HALLEX I-3-4-20).