Appeals Council Level
If denied at the Hearing level, some claimants may file an appeal with the Appeals Council in Virginia. Others who wish to appeal the decision must proceed to the next level of adjudication in their claims. (See Federal District Court Level). This appeal must be filed within 60 days of the ALJ's decision. The Appeals Council is the highest level of Administrative Review. Also, one must remember that this is usually a very time-consuming process. The chances of a favorable decision from the Appeals Council are not good.
On those claims which can appeal to the Appeals Council, SMC will review a hearing decision and the evidence in file to see if an Appeals Council appeal is warranted. If so, SMC personnel will provide the Appeals Council with a brief outlining our contentions in the case. Again, this is a very time-consuming process. SMC has received many remands and reversals of ALJ's decisions from the Appeals Council.