I-3-4-20.Appeals Council Dismissal of Request for Hearing

Last Update: 3/16/17 (Transmittal I-3-150)

A. General

The Appeals Council (AC) may dismiss a request for hearing for any reason the request for hearing could have been dismissed by an administrative law judge (ALJ) under 20 CFR 404.957 and 416.1457. The AC may choose to take this action when:

  • Reviewing a prior ALJ dismissal in which the AC grants review or takes own motion review because the basis for the ALJ's dismissal was incorrect, but another reason for dismissal of the request for hearing exists; or

  • The ALJ issued a decision on the merits, but the AC grants review or takes own motion review because a basis for dismissing the request for hearing is present.

For court precedent upholding this authority, see Social Security Ruling 95-2c: Sections 205(b) and 221(d) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 405(b) and 421(d)) Disability — Authority of the Appeals Council to Dismiss a Request for Hearing for a Reason for Which the Administrative Law Judge Could Have Dismissed the Request — Res Judicata. For additional information regarding application, see also the Appeals Council Interpretation in Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual II-5-1-5: Appeals Council Action Dismissing a Request for Hearing.

B. Procedures

Under 20 CFR 404.973 and 416.1473, when the AC decides to grant review in a case, it will mail a notice to all parties at their last known addresses stating the reasons for the review and the issue(s) to be considered. See HALLEX I-3-8-10. The AC sends a similar notice when taking own motion review. See HALLEX I-3-6-20. Therefore, if the AC grants review or takes own motion for the purpose of dismissing a request for hearing, the AC will send a notice to the claimant and appointed representative, if any, stating the reasons for the review and the issue(s) to be considered, and providing 30 days to submit any arguments or evidence regarding the proposed action.


In a title XVI claim where the claimant is in payment status, the AC must offer the claimant the opportunity to request a hearing in accordance with Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254 (1970). See 20 CFR 416.1336 and HALLEX I-3-9-84.

On receipt and consideration of any additional arguments or evidence, the AC will issue a dismissal order if the proposed action is still appropriate. When applicable, the AC will mail the order of dismissal to a party at his or her last known address.