Appeals Council

If you receive a denial from a Social Security Administrative Law Judge, do not wait to appeal that decision. You have 60 days to file an appeal before the Appeals Council.

We write over 200 AC briefs per month, and consistently receive referrals at this level.

The Appeals Council looks at the Administrative Law Judge’s decision to see if they made an error in your claim.


You could get three possible results from the Appeals Council:

  1. They decline to review your case, which essentially means a denial and an additional appeal to Federal Court.
  2. They approve your disability claim and award benefits, which is rare but possible.
  3. They send the case back to the ALJ with instructions for a new hearing and decision.

This is a result you want to get.

It can take a long time to get an answer from the Appeals Council, anywhere from 15 to 18 months.

If you are denied again, it is another appeal, but your fight for benefits still is not over.

Remember, having a skilled disability attorney on your side can significantly improve your chances of success at every stage of the appeals process.