Social Security Appeals Council

What happens if you lose your claim for Social Security Disability benefits at the administrative hearing? Receiving a denial for the third time can be disheartening, but don't give up hope. You may still be able to obtain benefits through another step in the appeals process.

The Social Security Appeals Council is responsible for reviewing decisions of administrative law judges. If you file the correct paperwork before the deadline, you can ask the Appeals Council to take a close look at your case and to review the decision of the administrative law judge.

How The Appeals Council Is Different — And More Challenging

At the administrative hearing, you had the opportunity to appear before the judge and present evidence. The judge personally heard your story and viewed your condition. This face-to-face advantage is usually not available when you request review from the Appeals Council. Instead, the Council will generally base its decision entirely on the written record and the testimony at the hearing.

Another important difference is the Appeals Council's limited scope of review. The Council will not take a fresh look at your case. Instead, YOU will have the burden of demonstrating that the judge committed legal errors which caused him or her to deny your claim. You must specify each of these errors.

These differences can make it challenging to succeed before the Appeals Council, especially without the benefit of an attorney.

We Can Fight For You

Not many disability law firms handle cases before the Social Security Appeals Council. In Georgia, the disability attorneys at Burgess & Christensen offer experienced guidance at all levels of appeal. Our lawyers are highly accomplished in the disability law field. We fight on where others give up.

When you turn to us for help, we will review your case with a close eye to identify opportunities for challenging the judge's decision. Our lawyers can readily flag potential grounds for appeal such as:

  • Did the judge fail to give the proper weight to important evidence (such as the testimony of your primary physician)?
  • Was the judge's decision based on insufficient evidence?
  • Did the judge apply a wrong standard of law?
  • Did the judge fail to give concrete reasons for disbelieving your testimony?

For a free case evaluation, contact our Marietta office at 770-422-8111 or send us an email.