The Appeals Council (AC), within the Office of Appellate Operations (OAO), is the final level of administrative review for claims filed under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act. The AC’s role is to review administrative law judge (ALJ) decisions and orders of dismissal, either at the claimant’s request or on its own volition. When the AC conducts a review, it may render the Commissioner’s final decision, issue an order of dismissal, or remand the case to an ALJ for further proceedings.
Both administrative appeals judges (AAJ) and appeals officers (AO) issue actions on cases. AAJs issue favorable, partially favorable, unfavorable, denial, dismissal, or remand order actions while AOs only issue denials. Before an adjudicator decides the case, an analyst reviews the claimant’s file and provides a recommendation to the adjudicator.
The objective of this report was to assess steps the AC had taken to reduce its pending request for review workloads and related processing times.