Nancy Withers, Michelle Parsons, and Maureen Nowak
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General Issues

What can you do after an ALJ denies your SSDI or SSI claim?

After a claim is denied by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) the claim can be appealed to the Appeals Council. This level of appeal is different from the other levels of appeal. The Appeals Council will consider if the ALJ who denied the claim made an error when reaching an unfavorable decision. The Appeals Council will first decide the claim will be reviewed. If the Appeals Council decided to review the claim the Appeals Council will do one of three things; review the case and uphold the ALJ’s decision, agree an error may have been made by the ALJ and send the claim back to the same ALJ for further investigation and mostly likely a second hearing, or issue a favorable decision.
If the Appeals Council decides to review your claim it generally takes about one year for the Appeals Council to reach a decision.

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