I-4-6-20.Determining Whether Appeals Council Review Is Required
Last Update: 12/16/20 (Transmittal I-4-84)
If the Office of Appellate Operations or Court Case Preparation and Review Branch analyst determines that appeal or reargument is not warranted, the next consideration is whether Appeals Council (AC) review is required. AC review is necessary in the following situations:
The AC issued the final decision.
A circuit court remanded the case.
The court remanded the case as a result of the request for voluntary remand process based on the Commissioner's motion or a joint motion or stipulation between the Commissioner and the claimant. (Exception: AC review is not required if the Commissioner moved for voluntary remand because of a lost or inaudible recording and the AC's remand order identifies no other issues. AC review is required when the AC's remand order included other issues, e.g., the need to obtain a consultative examination, etc.).
The case is one of “first impression,” and the court's holding is adverse to the Commissioner, i.e., a case in which the court enunciates for the first time an interpretation of the Social Security Act, regulations, or a ruling that is contrary to the Commissioner's interpretation and which is not being appealed (see Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law manual I-4-6-15).
The analyst determines that the AC could issue a decision (either favorable or unfavorable) without remanding the case to an administrative law judge (ALJ).
The analyst determines that the AC should remand the case to an ALJ and that the AC's remand order should contain specialized language because of circumstances unique to that case.