Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Recent Appeals Council Remand

If you receive an unfavorable decision after your hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, the next step is to appeal your case to the Appeals Council in Virginia. The Appeals Council reviews your decision and determines if they believe the Administrative Law Judge made any mistakes in deciding your case. The Appeals Council must decide if the Administrative Law Judge failed to follow Social Security's regulations.

If the Appeals Council determines that the Administrative Law Judge made a mistake, they can remand the case back to the Administrative Law Judge for additional proceedings. This simply means that the Appeals Council sends the case back to the Administrative Law Judge with instructions telling the Administrative Law Judge what he or she needs to do to comply with Social Security's laws.

In one of my recent cases, the Appeals Council remanded a case back to the Administrative Law Judge because she had not evaluated some of the claimant's impairments properly. In a Social Security case, the Administrative Law Judge must consider all of your impairments AND how each of those impairments affects your ability to work. In this recent case, the Administrative Law Judge identified the claimant's impairments but didn't discuss the severity of each impairment or the limitations caused by each impairment. Because she failed to address all of these things, the Appeals Council sent the case back to her for additional evaluation.

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